Washington Conservation Corps
The Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) is a subagency of the Washington State Department of Ecology. It employs men and women 18 to 25 years old in an outreach program to protect and enhance Washington's natural resources. WCC is a part of the AmeriCorps program.
Corps members serve between a six month and a full year term. Most have the opportunity to enroll for a second term, and a few do. Most returning members serve as team leaders (assistant supervisors) or Individual Placements (referred to as IP) during their second year.
WCC members can serve on a crew. Crews are based in a locality and serve in that locality. Crew members can find themselves in a variety of settings helping with riparian zone restoration work, wetland restoration work, invasive species clearing, and other environmental enhancement projects. Each project can last several days, and is referred to sometimes as a "spike". Crews have several "spikes" during their term. Each crew is led by a crew supervisor, a Washington State Department of Ecology employee.
Alternatively, a corps member may elect to serve as an Individual placement (IP). IPs serve as interns with one agency for their entire term. IPs generally serve as environmental educators, outreach coordinators, biological technicians or lab technicians.
Corps members make minimum wage, since their term is seen as service to Washington specifically and the U.S. in general. WCC provides health insurance and the opportunity to gain nationally recognized certifications (e.g. Red Card, WFR), through paid training. Additionally, corps members have qualified student loans put on forbearance and receive an educational award from AmeriCorps of $5,550 at the end of their term.