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Home / MAP-21 / Questions & Answers / MAP-21 Section 1524 - Youth Service and Conservation Corps Q & A

MAP-21 Section 1524 - Youth Service and Conservation Corps Questions & Answers

Posted 6/10/2013

1. What is the purpose of the Youth Service and Conservation Corps provision?

The concept for using youth corps in Federal-aid highway program projects originated from:

  • TEA-21 §1108(g) relating to Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects.
  • TEA-21 §1112(e) and SAFETEA-LU §1109(f) relating to RTP projects.

Youth corps organizations have benefited many recreational trail projects, which are usually administered through State resource agencies that have ongoing relationships with youth corps organizations. MAP-21 Section 1524 expanded the potential for federally-funded transportation projects to use youth corps organizations.

2. What are Qualified Youth Service and Conservation Corps?

Section 1524 of MAP-21 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 the "urban youth corps," which 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.

3. How do we find qualified youth service and conservation corps?

Youth service and conservation corps operate in all States and the District of Columbia. There are also national organizations that qualify as youth service and conservation corps. The Corps Network lists Service and Conservation Corps by State at www.corpsnetwork.org/impact/corps-by-state.

4. What kinds of projects are eligible under the provisions of Section 1524?

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).

5. What do the Section 1524 Requirements mean?

Section 1524(b)(1) requires the Secretary to establish a living allowance or rate of pay for youth service and conservation corps as required under State law or at an amount not to exceed the maximum living allowance authorized by 42 U.S.C. 12594 (as implemented by Part 4 -- Corporation for National and Community Service of OMB Circular A-133 Compliance Supplement 2012, available at www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars/a133_compliance_supplement_2012).

Section 1524(b)(2) exempts contracts and cooperative agreements with youth service and conservation corps from Federal-aid highway program contracting requirements under 23 U.S.C. 112. A State or regional transportation planning agency may sole-source contracts and cooperative agreements to qualified youth service and conservation corps for work undertaken for byway, recreational trail, transportation alternatives, bicycle and pedestrian, or SRTS projects.

6. Does Section 1524 supersede the requirement of 23 U.S.C. 213(e) relating to Treatment of Projects?

Yes. To the extent the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 213(e) relating to Treatment of Projects conflicts with the express provisions in section 1524, the provisions in section 1524 prevail. There are differences between MAP-21 Section 1524 and the newly established 23 U.S.C. 213(e) under TAP 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 for certain projects.

7. May a State set aside TAP funds for qualified youth service and conservation corps?

No. MAP-21 does not authorize the State to set-aside TAP funds for youth service and conservation corps. The requirement for a competitive process for TAP in 23 U.S.C. 213(c)(4)(A) applies to all TAP funds remaining after the RTP set-aside. The State (or MPO, as applicable) must first select projects through a competitive process; then the State or project sponsor may choose to enter into contracts or cooperative agreements with qualified youth corps consistent with State contracting or cooperative agreement procedures. Youth service and conservation corps contracts or cooperative agreements are not subject to the requirements of section 112 of title 23, United States Code.

MAP-21 Section 1524 requires the DOT 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)." Section 1524 provides exceptions for certain requirements regarding pay rates and contracting requirements for projects using qualified youth service or conservation corps. However, Section 1524 does not address project selection.

States and MPOs have options to encourage eligible project sponsors to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with qualified youth service and conservation corps, including:

Page last modified on September 12, 2013.
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