Section 1524 Use of Youth Service and Conservation Corps Questions & Answers
Question 1: What are Qualified Youth Service and Conservation Corps?
Answer 1: MAP-21 Section 1524 defines "qualified youth service or conservation corps" as those that are defined at 42 U.S.C. 12572(a)(2) and 42 U.S.C. 12656(c)(3). 42 U.S.C. 12572(a)(2) refers to the "Healthy Futures Corps," which is designed to identify and meet unmet health needs in communities. 42 U.S.C. 12656(c)(3) refers to "qualified urban youth corps," which means any program established by a State or local government or by a nonprofit organization that--
- is capable of offering meaningful, full-time, productive work for individuals between the ages of 16 and 25, inclusive, in an urban or public works or transportation setting;
- gives participants a mix of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training, and support services; and
- provides participants with the opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their communities and the United States.
Question 2: What kinds of projects are eligible under the provisions of MAP-21 Section 1524 regarding the use of youth service and conservation corps?
Answer 2: MAP-21 Section 1524 requires the USDOT/FHWA to "…encourage the States and regional transportation planning agencies to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service or conservation corps … to perform appropriate projects eligible under sections 162, 206, 213, and 217 of title 23, United States Code, and under section 1404 of the SAFETEA-LU (119 Stat. 1228)." These programs are the National Scenic Byways Program (23 U.S.C. 162), Recreational Trails Program (23 U.S.C. 206), Transportation Alternatives Program (23 U.S.C. 213), Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways (23 U.S.C. 217), and the Safe Routes to School Program (Section 1404 of SAFETEA-LU).
Question 3: How does MAP-21 Section 1524(b) address pay rates and contracting requirements?
Answer 3: Any project that will be carried out by a qualified youth service or conservation corps will be subject to the living allowance or rate of pay that is established by the Secretary pursuant to MAP-21 Section 1524(b)(1). Any project that is carried out within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway will be subject to this special rate of pay as opposed to the prevailing minimum wage rate required under 23 U.S.C. 113.
MAP-21 Section 1524(b)(2) exempts contracts and cooperative agreements with youth service and conservation corps from Federal-aid highway program contracting requirements at 23 U.S.C. 112. In effect, a State or regional transportation planning agency may sole-source contracts and cooperative agreements to qualified youth service and conservation corps for working undertaken for byway, recreational trail, TA, bicycle and pedestrian, or SRTS projects.
Question 4: Does MAP-21 Section 1524 supersede the requirement of 23 U.S.C. 213(e) relating to Treatment of Projects?
Answer 4: Yes. There are differences between MAP-21 Section 1524 and the newly established 23 U.S.C. 213(e) under the Transportation Alternatives Program regarding compliance with Federal-aid highway requirements. MAP-21 Section 1524 provides exceptions to certain requirements regarding pay rates and contracting requirements for projects using contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service or conservation corps.
Question 5: When does MAP-21 Section 1524 take effect?
Answer 5: MAP-21 Section 1524 takes effect on October 1, 2012.