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Youth Conservation or Service Corps

TEA-21 requires the U.S. DOT to encourage the use of youth conservation or service corps.
Legislation: TEA-21 §1108(g):

The definition of a qualified youth conservation or service corps is taken from existing titles and chapters of the United States Code (U.S.C.). These sections of the U.S.C. are provided below.

42 U.S.C. Sec. 12572

Division C - National Service Trust Program

(a) Eligible national service programs

The recipient of a grant under section 12571(a) of this title and each Federal agency receiving assistance under section 12571(b) of this title shall use the assistance, directly or through sub-grants to other entities, to carry out full- or part-time national service programs, including summer programs, that address unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs. Subject to subsection (b)(1) of this section, these national service programs may include the following types of national service programs:

  1. A community corps program that meets unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs and promotes greater community unity through the use of organized teams of participants of varied social and economic backgrounds, skill levels, physical and developmental capabilities, ages, ethnic backgrounds, or genders.

  2. A full-time, year-round youth corps program or full-time summer youth corps program, such as a conservation corps or youth service corps (including youth corps programs under division I of this subchapter, the Public Lands Corps established under the Public Lands Corps Act of 1993 (16 U.S.C. 1721 et seq.), the Urban Youth Corps established under section 12656 of this title, and other conservation corps or youth service corps that performs service on Federal or other public lands or on Indian lands or Hawaiian home lands), that -

    1. undertakes meaningful service projects with visible public benefits, including natural resource, urban renovation, or human services projects;
    2. includes as participants youths and young adults between the ages of 16 and 25, inclusive, including out-of-school youths and other disadvantaged youths (such as youths with limited basic skills, youths in foster care who are becoming too old for foster care, youths of limited-English proficiency, homeless youths, and youths who are individuals with disabilities) who are between those ages; and
    3. provides those participants who are youths and young adults with -
      1. crew-based, highly structured, and adult-supervised work experience, life skills, education, career guidance and counseling, employment training, and support services; and
      2. the opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their community and the United States.

  3. A program that provides specialized training to individuals in service-learning and places the individuals after such training in positions, including positions as service-learning coordinators, to facilitate service-learning in programs eligible for funding under part I of division B of this sub-chapter.

  4. A service program that is targeted at specific unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs and that -

    1. recruits individuals with special skills or provides specialized pre-service training to enable participants to be placed individually or in teams in positions in which the participants can meet such unmet needs; and
    2. if consistent with the purposes of the program, brings participants together for additional training and other activities designed to foster civic responsibility, increase the skills of participants, and improve the quality of the service provided.

  5. An individualized placement program that includes regular group activities, such as leadership training and special service projects.

  6. A campus-based program that is designed to provide substantial service in a community during the school term and during summer or other vacation periods through the use of -

    1. students who are attending an institution of higher education, including students participating in a work-study program assisted under part C of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.);
    2. teams composed of such students; or
    3. teams composed of a combination of such students and community residents.

  7. A pre-professional training program in which students enrolled in an institution of higher education -

    1. receive training in specified fields, which may include classes containing service-learning;
    2. perform service related to such training outside the classroom during the school term and during summer or other vacation periods; and
    3. agree to provide service upon graduation to meet unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs related to such training.

  8. A professional corps program that recruits and places qualified participants in positions -

    1. as teachers, nurses and other health care providers, police officers, early childhood development staff, engineers, or other professionals providing service to meet educational, human, environmental, or public safety needs in communities with an inadequate number of such professionals;
    2. that may include a salary in excess of the maximum living allowance authorized in subsection (a)(3) of section 12594 of this title, as provided in subsection (c) of such section; and
    3. that are sponsored by public or private nonprofit employers who agree to pay 100 percent of the salaries and benefits (other than any national service educational award under division D of this subchapter) of the participants.

  9. A program in which economically disadvantaged individuals who are between the ages of 16 and 24 years of age, inclusive, are provided with opportunities to perform service that, while enabling such individuals to obtain the education and employment skills necessary to achieve economic self-sufficiency, will help their communities meet -

    1. the housing needs of low-income families and the homeless; and
    2. the need for community facilities in low-income areas.

  10. A national service entrepreneur program that identifies, recruits, and trains gifted young adults of all backgrounds and assists them in designing solutions to community problems.

  11. An inter-generational program that combines students, out-of-school youths, and older adults as participants to provide needed community services, including an inter-generational component for other national service programs described in this subsection.

  12. A program that is administered by a combination of nonprofit organizations located in a low-income area, provides a broad range of services to residents of such area, is governed by a board composed in significant part of low-income individuals, and is intended to provide opportunities for individuals or teams of individuals to engage in community projects in such area that meet unaddressed community and individual needs, including projects that would -

    1. meet the needs of low-income children and youth aged 18 and younger, such as providing after-school ''safe-places'', including schools, with opportunities for learning and recreation; or
    2. be directed to other important unaddressed needs in such area.

  13. A community service program designed to meet the needs of rural communities, using teams or individual placements to address the development needs of rural communities and to combat rural poverty, including health care, education, and job training.

  14. A program that seeks to eliminate hunger in communities and rural areas through service in projects -

    1. Involving food banks, food pantries, and nonprofit organizations that provide food during emergencies;
    2. involving the gleaning of prepared and unprepared food that would otherwise be discarded as unusable so that the usable portion of such food may be donated to food banks, food pantries, and other nonprofit organizations;
    3. seeking to address the long-term causes of hunger through education and the delivery of appropriate services; or
    4. providing training in basic health, nutrition, and life skills necessary to alleviate hunger in communities and rural areas.

  15. Such other national service programs addressing unmet human, educational, environmental, or public safety needs as the Corporation may designate.

42 U.S.C. Sec. 12656

Division J - Miscellaneous

Sec. 12656. Urban Youth Corps

(a) Findings

The Congress finds the following:

  1. The rehabilitation, reclamation, and beautification of urban public housing, recreational sites, youth and senior centers, and public roads and public works facilities through the efforts of young people in the United States in an Urban Youth Corps can benefit these youths, while also benefiting their communities, by -

    1. providing them with education and work opportunities;
    2. furthering their understanding and appreciation of the challenges faced by individuals residing in urban communities; and
    3. providing them with a means to pay for higher education or to repay indebtedness they have incurred to obtain higher education.

  2. A significant number of housing units for low-income individuals in urban areas has become substandard and unsafe and the deterioration of urban roadways, mass transit systems, and transportation facilities in the United States have contributed to the blight encountered in many cities in the United States.

  3. As a result, urban housing, public works, and transportation resources are in need of labor intensive rehabilitation, reclamation, and beautification work that has been neglected in the past and cannot be adequately carried out by Federal, State, and local government at existing personnel levels.

  4. Urban youth corps have established a good record of rehabilitating, reclaiming, and beautifying these kinds of resources in a cost-efficient manner, especially when they have worked in partnership with government housing, public works, and transportation authorities and agencies.

(b) Purpose

It is the purpose of this section -

  1. to perform, in a cost-effective manner, appropriate service projects to rehabilitate, reclaim, beautify, and improve public housing and public works and transportation facilities and resources in urban areas suffering from high rates of poverty where work will not be performed by existing employees;

  2. to assist government housing, public works, and transportation authorities and agencies;

  3. to expose young people in the United States to public service while furthering their understanding and appreciation of their community;

  4. to expand educational opportunity for individuals who participate in the Urban Youth Corps established by this section by providing them with an increased ability to pursue post-secondary education or job training; and

  5. to stimulate interest among young people in the United States in lifelong service to their communities and the United States.

(c) Definitions

For purposes of this section:

  1. Appropriate service project

    The term ''appropriate service project'' means any project for the rehabilitation, reclamation, or beautification of urban public housing and public works and transportation resources or facilities.

  2. Corps and Urban Youth Corps

    The term ''Corps'' and ''Urban Youth Corps'' mean the Urban Youth Corps established under subsection (d)(1) of this section.

  3. Qualified urban youth corps

    The term ''qualified urban youth corps'' means any program established by a State or local government or by a nonprofit organization that -

    1. 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;
    2. gives participants a mix of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training, and support services; and
    3. provides participants with the opportunity to develop citizenship values and skills through service to their communities and the United States.
Updated: 01/11/2012
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