Program Spotlight: Lane-Metro Youth Corps Summer Work Crew

 2 members of Looking Glass' Lane Metro Youth Corps summer work crew show off their brush cutters as they trim invasive species from fields in West Eugene.

2 members of Looking Glass' Lane Metro Youth Corps summer work crew show off their brush cutters as they trim invasive species from fields in West Eugene.

Since 1990, Looking Glass' Lane-Metro Youth Corps has coordinated a summer work crew, giving paid summer work experience to hundreds of Lane County youth over the years and helping to make improvements to a variety of local natural resources and habitats.

"Beyond getting paid, these youth are getting valuable work experience," said crew supervisor and Riverfront teacher Craig Annsa. "For most of these program participants, it's their first work experience environment - they learn important, basic skills applicable to any work environment such as showing up on time and communicating with co-workers and supervisors."

 Crew supervisor, Craig Annsa (far right) oversees a work crew of 5 on assignment for the BLM to remove invasive species in a field off Greenhill Road in West Eugene.

Crew supervisor, Craig Annsa (far right) oversees a work crew of 5 on assignment for the BLM to remove invasive species in a field off Greenhill Road in West Eugene.

Most of the summer work crew projects are determined through the Youth Corps partners which have varied over the years and include groups like the Bureau of Land Management, the Army Corps Engineers and the Lane County Parks Department. This year's participants include 2 work crews with 6 youth on each crew, between ages of 15 and 23. Some are students at Riverfront, others come from other Looking Glass programs including the Independent Living Program and others are from the general community population. The LMYC is a year-round program.

Other examples of summer work projects the Youth Corps takes on include trail, bridge or fence construction; neighborhood park improvements; fisheries habitat improvement, nursery/greenhouse maintenance and more. The program is operated by Looking Glass in partnership with the Lane Workforce Partnership, Oregon Youth Conservation Corps, and the Oregon State Marine Board. Private donations are always welcomed to help offset other, additional expenses.

If you would like to learn more about the Lane-Metro Youth Corps, please contact Riverfront School Director Cheryl Zwillinger at cheryl.zwillinger@lookingglass.us.