The Mt. Adams Institute, based in Trout Lake, Wash., was awarded over half a million dollars to fund its innovative VetsWork program for military veterans interested in work managing natural resources on public lands. Funding for the program comes from the Corporation for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps).
The VetsWork program combines hands-on training and direct service opportunities. Program partners include the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and public resource partners. The program currently serves over 50 participants in Washington, Oregon, Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia.
“The VetsWork program is intended to support military veterans as they transition back into civilian life,” says Brendan Norman, executive director of the Mt. Adams Institute. “Eighty percent of our recent graduates from wildland firefighting training were offered positions by the Forest Service.”
AmeriCorps grant funding will allow the program to continue into its third year, with possible expansion to new states.