MHYC continued to be a proven strategy to combat youth unemployment. The 2021 unemployment rate in Colorado was 4.8%, but for youth ages 16-24, that percentage almost doubled to 9.4% according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. MHYC served 59 more Corpsmembers than in 2020 with a total of 204 young adults participating in career pathway programs focused on land conservation, energy and water conservation, construction, and health and wellness. 204 Corpsmembers filled 239 available positions, which considers a high level of returners for additional terms of service in 2021. MHYC will continue to meet this growing need in coming years and will implement strategies to increase capacity
“I really appreciate having gone through this program and the way I have grown. I was heard and supported and cared about, which is more than any other place I have worked… Thank you for helping me find my power in the workplace and encouraging me to continue to grow.” Cassie R. Energy and Water Conservation Corpsmember 2021
In 2021, Colorado Congressman Joe Neguse helped launch the Colorado Climate Corps at a MHYC service site in Nederland. The CO Climate Corps propels forward a new vision of the 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps model created in the New Deal era to help rebuild our nation after the Great Depression. The 21st Century model will create hundreds of jobs, combatting wildfires and floods and protecting our public lands through the creation of an inclusive and diverse coalition of young adults.
MHYC’s Carly S. joined the Colorado Climate Corps with the ambition to increase experience and become a wildland firefighter: “I like being outside and working with my hands. This program has helped me realize there are so many other opportunities for me,”-Carly S. Colorado Climate Corpsmember
In 2021, a crew of 9 MHYC Corpsmembers received hands-on technical skills training to address trail maintenance needs on National Forest lands for 22 weeks of service on the Trail Stewardship Strike Team (TSST). This partnership with MHYC, VF Foundation and the National Forest Foundation was built with a vision to address Colorado’s high rate of outdoor recreation activities, which has grown considerably since the start of COVID-19. National Forests, and the Front Range trails in particular, receive approximately 3 million visitors along 1,375 miles of trail annually. The TSST worked to address a backlog of maintenance needs across the region and keep popular trails welcoming and safe for years to come.
“I learned so much about what I am capable of professionally, as a leader, and as a friend. This experience provided me with an avenue for a future career in land management.” Marco P. TSST Crew Leader 2021