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Civilian Conservation Corps looks to fill hundreds of jobs for 2022

Corps officials say they expect a healthy applicant pool in a COVID-strained job market

Brothers up north.jpg
Nikola Hamilton, left, and his cousin Kevin Dornink look over oak trees to plant in Southeast Minnesota in May 2020. Dornink, a former Civilian Conservation Corps Minnesota Iowa member, continues work from experience he received working for the corps.
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The Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa is looking to fill more than 200 positions this year.

There’s plenty for each of them to do, CCMI officials said.

The corps is looking to fill 130 full-time and seasonal positions in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa, and dozens more seasonal slots through the summer.

Each year, the corps hires hundreds of young adults who work throughout the state with various agencies to fight invasive species, build trails, improve native habitat and park infrastructure, and various other jobs.

Corps officials say they expect a robust pool of candidates due to a tight job market from COVID-19 and a desire for working conditions that provide some protections from the virus.

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“It’s just a really good opportunity to try something new and to be outside in these times you might not be too sure you want to be in an office with other people,” said Rachel Wagner, CCMI marketing and communications manager.

Staff gain multiple certifications that can carry over into other jobs, she added.

For some, the training is a stepping stone into a career.

Kevin Dornink and his brother Nate Dietzenbach worked for CCMI, and gained their experience in the ongoing battle against buckthorn, a woody invasive plant in Southeast Minnesota. The two founded Brothers Up North LLC, and continue that and similar work through the company.

Locally, CCMI has partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources parks and trails division, DNR wildlife and Olmsted County Parks to help remove invasive species and improve park areas.

“I think one of the big pieces there is that there is not a shortage of work that needs to be done on our public lands, to mitigate the effects of climate change,” Wagner said. “We never have a problem with partners coming to us with projects and work.”

While the work is ongoing, the window to apply for full-time, year-round positions is closing soon. CCMI plans to fill the positions by Wednesday, Jan. 26.

Application for summer positions opens in February.

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The program is part of AmeriCorps. Applicants must be between 18 to 25 years old at the time of the start of the position. Each of the corps members receives a $6,000 stipend toward education costs after completing the job.

More information about the job openings can be found at conservationcorps.org.

Related Topics: ROCHESTER
John Molseed joined the Post Bulletin in 2018. He covers arts, culture, entertainment, nature and other fun stories he's surprised he gets paid to cover. When he's not writing articles about Southeast Minnesota artists and musicians, he's either picking banjo, brewing beer, biking or looking for other hobbies that begin with the letter "b." Readers can reach John at 507-285-7713 or jmolseed@postbulletin.com.
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