Career training for veterans returns to Gifford Pinchot

A current VetsWork serving on the Sumter National Forest.

VetsWork, a program of the Mt. Adams Institute, is bringing back the national career training program for military veterans to both the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex.

The VetsWork program trains military veterans for potential careers in public lands and natural resources management. The Corporation for National Service (AmeriCorps) has provided additional support for the project, said a press release.

The program entails a 45-week hands-on internship in which participants learn new skills while completing projects for their service site. The experience and training in the VetsWork program is designed to encourage participants to explore potential career options with their sponsoring agencies.

“The VetsWork program is intended to support military veterans as they transition back into civilian life by providing them with this opportunity to explore a potential career in service to public lands and the natural resources that abound in the region,” said Brendan Norman, executive director of the Mt. Adams Institute.

Since the inception of the program, more than 95 veterans have been hired into positions with public lands agencies as a result of the program.

This is the sixth year the forest has partnered with the Mt. Adams Institute’s VetsWork program and the second year for the Columbia River Gorge National Fish Hatchery Complex. For the 2019 season, there is one open internship position for the forest and two for the hatchery. The program begins on Feb. 4, and interested applicants should contact the Mt. Adams Institute’s recruitment coordinator at katie@mtadamsinstitute.org or review the position descriptions at mtadamsinstitute.org/internships.

Participants receive a modest living stipend, basic health insurance, an AmeriCorps education award of $6,095 and other benefits including housing assistance. As a result of the program’s success, the Department of Labor has designated VetsWork as an official apprenticeship program, which allows participants to access additional GI Bill benefits, said a press release.

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