Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Launches

Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Budget and Management at the Department of Interior (DOI) talks about the vision for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps.

Yesterday in Washington, D.C. the Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps launched with a meeting attended by over 50 people from numerous federal agencies, nonprofits, and youth policy groups. The Partnership is an effort to support the development and implementation of the 21CSC to reach its goal of engaging 100,000 young people and veterans per year in conservation service.

More specifically, the Partnership provides an interface for private partners to regularly interface with members of the National Council established earlier this year by 8 federal agencies to guide the implementation of the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, following the completion of work by a Federal Advisory Committee that provided recommendations on how to structure, organize, and implement a program of this kind.

At the meeting Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Budget and Management at the Department of Interior (DOI), spoke about the work that had occured so far to establish a 21CSC. Suh said that despite sequestration cuts and a general lack of new funding, that DOI plans to continue the momentum toward the large vision that the Federal Advisory Committee for the 21CSC mapped out. Another key theme throughout the discussion focused upon how Corps can help federal agencies, cities, and other partners to accomplish essential work during this era of limited budgets with a high degree of professionalism and low cost. Getting this message communicated to potential partners would be essential.

The Partnership next plans to focus the efforts of working groups upon key tasks such as finding funding with the government and from private sources for building the program, developing essential branding and marketing messages, sharing how-to-guides for facilitating partnerships, and planning simultaneous 21CSC launch events for the Fall.