Interior Department To Expand “Youth in the Great Outdoors” Initiative
Good news for youth employment numbers!
The U.S. Department of the Interior has announced it will expand agency initiatives to connect youth to the great outdoors. Speaking on February 8 from the nation’s snowy capital, Secretary Ken Salazar said he will increase youth employment opportunities at the Interior by 50 percent in 2010.
Salazar also highlighted the department’s proposed 26 percent budget increase of $9.3 million for the Office of Youth in Natural Resources, an initiative that aims to employ youth and young adults with careers in natural resources.
The Interior Department is making this work a priority in light of soaring youth unemployment rates and the troubling, growing trend of children spending half as much time outdoors as they did just 20 years ago.
Secretary Salazar’s leadership will help engage Americans of all backgrounds in true career pathways in natural resource fields.
“The proposed funding increase for the Youth in Natural Resources initiative will enable key agencies such as the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management to develop innovative approaches through environmental education, recreation, and service to engage diverse youth on public lands and pique their interest for careers in public service,” said Kevin Coyle, Vice President for Education and Training at NWF.