New program trains veterans in natural resource management

Veterans Corps
Veterans Corps(KTTC)
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:15 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – A new program launching Wednesday trains veterans on natural resource management and is recruiting in Rochester and Mankato.

The new Veterans Corps is part of the Conservation Corps, which dates back to 1930s, when the country was recovering from the Great Depression. It’s made up of young people who take care of natural resources like cleaning up waterways, cutting down vegetation and helping fight forest fires.

The Veterans Corps builds on the Conservation Corps model, but focuses more on training veterans and active military members ages 18-35 on managing natural resources, like learning how to help to mitigate and combat climate change, improving access to outdoor recreation, restoring natural habitats, protecting waterways and responding to natural disasters. The goal is to give the veterans the experience needed to fast track them into a career with agencies like the Department of Natural Resources or a similar field.

“They get to translate this into certifications and jobs,” Veterans Corps Program Manager Scott Schue said. “Doing natural resource management for the DNR, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, all of these agencies. They are all trying to hire qualified people, but they don’t have the training or the experience necessary to get those jobs. And that’s what we we’re going to be able to give to the veterans.”

It’s a 900-hour program based in Rochester and Mankato, and is funded by the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs. Program leaders also said they hope the program will help veterans feel connected to their community as they transition back to civilian life.

Participants receive a stipend, health insurance. They are also eligible for an education award of up to $$3,172.

Schue said future plans involve expanding the program and working with other state veterans groups.

For more information or to apply, visit the Veterans Corps website.

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