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Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps offers work experience, job training, and environmental educational opportunities to young people who complete recreation and conservation projects on Pennsylvania’s public lands.

In addition to hands-on job skills, the program provides learning opportunities weekly in resource management, environmental issues and topics, and recreation skills.

Corps members also will be provided with workforce development training and materials during their period of employment.

Who’s Eligible?

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps consists of three components:

  • A nine-month program for young adults ages 18 - 25
  • A nine-month cultural resources crew
  • A six-week, summer program for youth ages of 15 - 18

Nine-Month Young Adult Crews

Nine-month crew members gain numerous real-world skills, including but not limited to:

  • Carpentry and construction
  • Habitat management
  • Masonry
  • Wildland firefighting
  • Leadership and communication

Crew members also are provided career development and netwoking opportunities to support the advancement of their individual goals in a variety of careers.

Hiring Locations for Young Adult Crews

Young adult crews consist of five members and one project leader.

For 2022, nine-month crews will work Monday, February 28, through Thursday, December 1, in the following areas:

  • Altoona
  • Harrisburg
  • Harrisburg -- roving resource management crew
  • Meadville
  • Philadelphia -- roving trail crew
  • Pittsburgh
  • Saint Marys
  • Wilkes-Barre
  • Williamsport

Local Crew Schedule:
Monday – Wednesday, from 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., Thursday, from 7:00 A.M. to 4:30 P.M.

Roving Crew Schedule:
Wednesday – Wednesday (eight days on with six days off). Roving crews stay at or near project locations throughout the state.

Compensation for Young Adult Crews:
$13.70/hr to start; increases to $14.20 on July 1, employee-sponsored benefits, paid time off

Learn more:

Nine-Month Cultural Resources Crew

The Cultural Resources Crew is intended to provide aspiring archaeologists and preservationists the professional skills to build successful careers in land and resource management.

The Cultural Resources Crew will complete preservation oriented projects
throughout Pennsylvania’s extensive park and forest system. Projects may including:

  • Phase I archaeological and above-ground historic resource surveys
  • Resource inventory
  • Resource/site assessment
  • Research-oriented investigations

Crew members will be provided multiple opportunities to attend and participate in training and educational activities related to cultural resource management.

Most work and activities take place outdoors or in a lab setting in all
seasons and weather and involves physically demanding labor.

Applicants should hold a degree (BA or BS) in Anthropology, Archaeology, History, Architectural History, Historic Preservation, or a related field.

Location:
Members will work across Pennsylvania

Position Dates:
Monday, February 28 - Thursday, December 1

Weekly Schedule:
Monday - Friday (37.5 hours/week)

Compensation:
$13.70/hour to start, increases to $14.20 after four months, employee-sponsored benefits, paid time off

Learn more:

Six-Week Summer Youth Crews

There is a six-week summer program for youth ages 15-18 across the state.

More detailed information about the 2022 summer program will be available after January 1, 2022.

Crews Available for Local Park Work

While the majority of the project work will be performed on state park and forest lands, the corps will be available on a cost-share basis to local land managers such as municipal and county parks and recreation departments during 2022.

Contact the Outdoor Corps program manager for more information.

Goals and Background

The Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps will help to protect and restore public lands and waters, while providing young people with the knowledge and expertise to be good stewards of our natural resources.

The program will connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment and provide training in work skills necessary for future successful employment.

The youth employment and enrichment program is managed by the DCNR in cooperation with the Student Conservation Association, a national conservation jobs organization that has engaged thousands of young people nationwide in hands-on service to the land to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities.

Program Funding 

The 2022 Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps is financially supported by DCNR and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s Reemployment Program, along with private contributions made through the Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation.