Young people earn and learn while preventing wildfires in East Bay parks

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Young people can earn and learn while preventing wildfires in East Bay parks
EBRPD working in urban forest setting. (Photo courtesy of EBRPD).

The East Bay Regional Park District has expanded its workforce development programs for young people ages 18-25 to help support wildfire prevention efforts and trails maintenance work in its parks.

Park District Fire Chief Aileen Theile said the department has recruited several fuels crew employees with training and experience from Civicorps, an Oakland-based nonprofit job training center for young people. Young people also join small trails crews to help maintain trials in the 73 parks system.

Park District employees, including the small trails crew supervisor and crew leader, provide program participants one-on-one coaching, mentoring, assistance with resume building, training on applying and interviewing for jobs and more, the Park District said.

 “We are currently building and expanding a cohesive, coordinated team for the small trails crew that undertakes important work to improve and maintain trails, remove hazards, and help reduce wildfire fuels, all in an urban forest setting,” said Robert Kennedy, Park District chief of Maintenance and Skilled Trades.

For more information, visit the East Bay Regional Park District website here and view its Careers for Students and Youth page here.