Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps (CCLC) program

04/19/2018

SCA is now accepting applications for the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps (CCLC) program, a partnership between SCA, the Cook County Forest Preserves and Friends of the Forest Preserves. SCA provides young people with seasonal jobs performing vital environmental conservation projects in parks and public lands. SCA’s efforts expand career pathways for passionate yet underemployed youth who gain skills and experience essential to future success and a lifetime of environmental stewardship.

Thanks to a two-year $1 million grant from BP America, SCA placed its first crews in the Chicago Park District in 2015 and expanded its work into the Forest Preserves of Cook County in 2016. BP supported SCA last year and is committed to continuing our support for SCA’s programming in 2018.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps program is a 6-week ecological restoration and trail maintenance learning experience. SCA is looking for students age 15-19 to participate on a crew that will consist of 10-12 high school students. In addition to the work performed Monday through Thursday, students will participate in field days on each Friday, learning about the local ecology and the environment at various sites throughout the region.

SCA is also looking for young adults age 21 and up to participate in the program as crew leaders. These participants will be responsible for coaching and mentoring a crew of 10-12 students while completing various conservation service projects designed to build an ethic of science understanding, community and environmental stewardship. Crew Leaders will also be required to attend a mandatory training in Pittsburgh, PA from June 4 to June 14 and local training from June 19 to June 21.

The Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps (CCLC) program commences work on Monday, July 2, 2018. Crew member applications will be accepted until March 19. SCA will accept crew leader applications no later than April 1.

To apply for these opportunities, interested applicants can read the descriptions attached and follow the instructions for the application process.

Q: What are the age requirements to participate in the program?
A: Students must be 15-19 years old by the program start date and enrolled in high school or be a 2018 high school graduate.

Q: How do I apply?
A: Visit www.fotfp.org to apply online or download a printable version. The application will close on March 19th, 2018. You can contact Daiva Gylys at dgylys@thesca.org with questions.

Q: What is the time commitment and how does transportation work?
A: The program will run from July 2, 2018 to August 10, 2018. Students generally work Monday-Friday 34 hours/week and receive a wage of $8.25/hr. If a student misses more than 3 days of work they will be automatically dismissed from the program and will forfeit the remaining pay. There are no exceptions for family vacations or summer school. July 4th will be observed for the Independence Day and no programming will occur on that day. Participants do not need to live near a forest preserve to participate. Students meet at centralized pick-up and drop-off locations (such as a CTA train stop) and are transported to their work site each day. Students leave their pick-up locations at 7:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday and will be dropped off at the same locations by Crew Leaders at 3:30 p.m. Fridays are designated as environmental education days. Crew members will be paid for four hours on Fridays and will meet at their designated locations at 7:30 a.m.



Q: What exactly do students do and where do they work?
A: Students will spend one week learning job skills that will prepare them for the program and give them skills that they can use in the future. They then engage in rewarding and valuable physical work outdoors on conservation and restoration projects in the Forest Preserves of Cook County including trail work, invasive species removal and nature center projects. Throughout each week, time will be devoted to learning about the local ecology and environment. Once a student is hired, they will usually be placed at the forest preserve work site that is closest to their home.



FAQ for crew leader applicants

Q: What are the age requirements and qualifications needed to participate in the program?
A: Applicants must be 21 yrs or older; have a valid driver’s license for 3+ years and clean driving record; must be able to attend a mandatory, overnight Crew Leader training in Pittsburgh, PA from June 4 – 14 and local training from June 19 – 21 (local dates subject to change); current Basic First Aid and Adult CPR certifications or ability to obtain before program start date; State of Illinois herbicide license or willing to obtain one before program start date; outdoor skills; experience working with diverse groups of youth; ability to maintain safe, productive and enjoyable work environment; strong interest in working with and mentoring youth. Plant identification skills, knowledge of mid-western ecology, or knowledge of the forest preserves is a big plus!



Q: How do I apply?
A: Interested applicants can email a resume and cover letter to Daiva Gylys (dgylys@thesca.org) and Zach Taylor (zach@fotfp.org). Please apply no later than April 1.

Q: What is the time commitment?
A: Crew leaders must be able to attend an overnight training in Pittsburgh, PA from June 4 – 14 and local training from June 19 – 21 (local dates subject to change). The program will run from July 2, 2018 to August 10, 2018.


Crew leaders will receive a wage of $16.50/hr and work 34 hrs/wk (plus paid crew leader training).

If you are interested in receiving additional information about SCA’s work in the Chicago region or in bringing SCA crews to your district, we would be happy to be of assistance.


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