Wildsight’s Youth Climate Corps (YCC) is currently hiring. They are looking to recruit young adults who are passionate about taking action to tackle climate change and supporting the needs of their community.
These paid positions are set to begin in May, with crew members from Kimberley and Cranbrook tasked with addressing solutions to the climate emergency, through skills and certifications focused on combating climate change in fields such as wildfire work, food, energy and ecology.
No prior experience in these fields is required and crew members will also receive training in leadership, teamwork and communication.
“We’re looking for passionate people, not experience,” said Tim Chapman, YCC Kimberley/Cranbrook coordinator. “We give crews the training to launch their career, and the more opportunities we can provide through this program, the better.”
The YCC program itself has been around for three years, but first ran in Kimberley and Cranbrook in 2021.
Wildsight ran its first Kimberley/Cranbrook Youth Climate Corps in 2021.
Cranbrook resident Amanda Weatherall said her experience with YCC allowed her to explore her passions for the environment and climate change mitigation.
“It was a great learning experience,” Weatherall said. “I enjoyed the diversity of opportunities.”
Weatherall’s crew member Kaylee Coates, from Kimberley, added: “I enjoyed being outside, going to new places and learning all along the way. I didn’t know what to anticipate and, honestly, YCC blew me away.”
The position is a four-month contract with potential for extension and members will benefit from collaborations with numerous other regional programs such as employment and skills training from Kootenay Employment Services’ Ignite Program, food sustainability theory and practice from Healthy Kimberley’s Food Recovery Program, and wildfire risk mitigation and monitoring in the Kimberley Nature Park.
Last year saw the crew working in ways that directly benefited their local environment and community, including doing a lot of work bridging the cap between wildfire risk management work and knowing what happens in the forest after these treatments take place.
They accomplished this through surveying more than 600 plots, which can be extrapolated to around 2000 hectares of wildfire information.
They also picked more than 453 kilograms of cherries which were then distributed through local food recovery programs and supported other local food efforts.
They also partnered with Living Lakes Canada, undertaking water monitoring and ecosystem enhancement in the Columbia Wetlands.
“It was a great experience, where you are paid to take part in practices that benefit our local environment and communities,” said crew member Noah Ko.
Wildsight said that this season will expand upon some of last year’s work, but also has the potential for new partnerships and projects as well, adding, “Wildsight’s goal through YCC is to not just complete projects, but to help empower a generation and enable future climate action.”
“The more fields we can expose them to, the more successful the program will be,” Chapman told Kimberley City Council in a March meeting. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback.”
As a condition of funding partnerships, applicants must:
• Be between 17 – 30 years of age at the start of the contract
• Be unemployed or precariously employed (employed seasonally, casually, part time, or at risk of losing your employment)
• Be legally entitled to work in Canada (Canadian citizen, permanent resident or protected person)
• Fully vaccinated against COVID-19
Applications are open until April 11, 2022. For more information on how to apply visit https://wildsight.ca/programs/youth-climate-corps/youth-climate-corps-kimberley-cranbrook/