Youth Engagement, Education and Employment Program

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Relevent Country: United States of America

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced the Youth Engagement, Education, and Employment Program.

FWS programs operating under the Authority of the Public Lands Corps Act have been designated as programs covered under Justice40 (Executive Order 14008). FWS strives to meet the Federal government’s goal of 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that have been marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. The categories of investments are climate change, clean energy and energy efficiency, clean transit, affordable and suitable housing, training and workforce development, remediation of legacy pollution, and the development of clean water and wastewater technologies.

The PLC program’s goals are to:

  • Perform, in a cost-effective manner, appropriate conservation projects on eligible lands where such projects will not be performed by existing government employees.
  • Assist governments and Indian tribes in performing research and public education tasks associated with natural and cultural resources on eligible lands.
  • Expose young people to public service while furthering their understanding and appreciation of the Nation’s natural and cultural resources.
  • Stimulate interest among the Nation’s youth in the FWS and conservation careers by exposing them to conservation, scientific research, and other professionals in the FWS, and offering them non-competitive hiring eligibility for Federal positions for which they qualify upon meeting program requirements.
  • Allow PLC participants the opportunity to seek forbearance on Stafford loans.

The FWS operates many PLC programs under the FWS Youth Corps that offer the possibility of non-competitive hiring authority status. Programs such as:

  • Public Lands Transportation Fellows Program (PLTFP)
  • The Public Lands Transportation Fellows program (PLTF) provides fellowships to outstanding graduates in a transportation-related field to work directly with staff of Federal Land Management Agencies on key visitor transportation issues.
  • The program has three goals, which are to:
  • Encourage emerging transportation professionals to pursue their career serving federal lands.
  • Provide much needed transportation expertise to FMLA units and regions to help them address critical transportation issues.
  • Support the development, implementation, and evaluation of viable alternative transportation for visitors to FLMA’s.
  • Fish and Wildlife Service Maintenance and Infrastructure Fellows Program (MIPF)
  • In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service, Mobilize Green manages the FWS Maintenance and Infrastructure Fellows Program (“MIFP”). This is a yearlong program (12 months) that places fellows to work at FWS stations throughout the United States. Fellows work in five cohorts: Engineering/Architecture, Maintenance, Facility Operations and Data Analyst, Climate Adaptation, and Hydrology/Geomorphology. Within these cohorts, Fellows will gain experience and skills within their respective fields all related to the restoration and management of FWS’s stations. Activities include but are not limited to: land surveying, vehicle maintenance, asset conditioning, project management, budgeting, structure upgrades, and CAD work.
  • Youth Conservation Corps (YCC)
  • The Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) is summer youth employment program that engages young people in meaningful work experiences on public lands while developing an ethic of environmental stewardship and civic responsibility. YCC programs are generally 8 to 10 weeks long. Participants are paid the minimum wage for a 40-hour work week. Most YCC opportunities are non-residential programs that provide paid daytime work.
  • Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP)
  • Founded in 2008, the Career Discovery Internship Program (CDIP) was created in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to help prepare the next generation of wildlife professionals and managers by:
  • Introducing culturally and ethnically diverse college freshman and sophomores to conservation careers in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service;
  • Giving field staff the experience of working with culturally and ethnically diverse employee; and
  • Increasing the diversity of the applicant pool for conservation-based jobs
  • The Indian Youth Service Corps Program (IYSC)
  • The IYSC Program is a program established within the Public Lands Corps Act that offers Tribal government and other partner organizations the opportunity to enter into agreements with the Secretary of the Interior, Agriculture, or Commerce to do one or more of the following, for the benefit of Tribal members:
  • Establish conservation crews to carry out appropriate conservation projects on eligible service lands; or
  • Place individuals in resource assistant positions; or
  • Place individuals in apprenticeships. The purpose of the IYSC is to:
  • Perform, in a cost-effective manner, appropriate conservation projects on eligible public lands where such projects will not be performed by existing employees;
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Management Program
  • The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Fire Management Program’s goals include:
  • Provide enough fuels work to employ crews of 6 or more for 3 or more months.
  • Provide project leadership to introduce each treatment, present goals, objectives, ensure a safe work environment, quality control monitoring, and ensure FWS policies are being followed.
  • Provide logistical support when logistical options are limited.
  • Provide educational opportunities to FWS Youth Corps staff about the FWS, our refuges, ecology, wildland fire management, etc.

Directorate Fellows Program (DFP)

  • In addition to PLC non-competitive hiring authority programs, the FWS operates Direct Hire programs such as the Directorate Fellows Program (DFP). Under the authorization of the Public Land Corp Act, Resources Assistant Program, the Department of the Interior established policy for bureaus to implement the Direct Hire Authority, Resources Assistant Internship Program (DHA/RAIP) in 2012. The key requirements of the program are:
  • Students must be enrolled in undergraduate and graduate degree programs; and mandated targeted recruitment to ensure the full representation of women and participants from historically Black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific Islander and Native American schools or other schools with diverse student populations; and
  • Design a rigorous project for a minimum of least 11-weeks for candidates selected to participate in the program.

Small Grants

  • Under the Authority of the Fish and Wildlife Act – Community partnership enhancement (16 U.S.C. 742f(d)), small grants (not to exceed $100,000) can be issued to organizations that support disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. Small Grants must support Funding Opportunity Goals (A.4) with priority given to local community organizations, Friends groups, and Tribal governments focused on:
  • Engagement – engaging the public through environmental education
  • Barrier Analysis and Removal – projects that identify barriers to diversity and inclusion, engage in barrier elimination, and monitor metrics that show response to initiatives
  • Recruitment and Hiring – projects that connect with the values of a diverse public and enhance support of conservation focused on excellence and development of a diverse applicant pool for FWS positions

Funding Information

  • B1. Total Funding
  • Estimated Total Funding: $28,000,000
  • B2. Expected Award Amount
  • Maximum Award: $2,000,000
  • Minimum Award: $5,000
  • B3. Expected Award Funding and Anticipated Dates
  • Expected Award Funding: $48,000
  • Expected Award Date: November 02, 2023
  • B4. Number of Awards
  • Expected Number of Awards: 375

Eligibility Criteria

  • Eligible Applicants
  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Public and State controlled institutions of higher education
  • Native American tribal governments (Federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal organizations (other than Federally recognized tribal governments)
  • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Nonprofits without 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • Private institutions of higher education
  • Additional Information on Eligibility
  • Other Organizations that have established Public Lands Corps Act eligibility as FWS Youth Corps member organizations such as 501(c)4 or 501(c) 5 nonprofit organizations that are labor unions, neighborhood associations, or other types of eligible organizations, including those that reach or represent potentially underserved communities.
  • For all awards issued under the Public Lands Corps Act, recipient must have established eligibility under the FWS Youth Corps.