George Washington National forest

The George Washington National Forest. 

The USDA Forest Service and the Mt. Adams Institute are inviting military veterans to participate in the national career-training program, VetsWork Environment, on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. The VetsWork program provides an opportunity for local veterans to transition to a career in natural resources and public lands management, according to a Monday news release from the agency.

The George Washington and Jefferson National Forests are hosting this 45-week hands-on internship in which participants will learn new skills while supporting natural resource management, wildlife and timber projects on the forest. The experience and training are designed to encourage participants to explore potential career options with the Forest Service.

The two internship positions to be filled are based in Natural Bridge Station, Va., and Norton, Va., and begin on March 2, 2020. Interested applicants should contact Mt. Adams Institute’s recruitment coordinator at katie@mtadamsinstitute.org or review the position descriptions and apply online at mtadamsinstitute.org/internships.

Participants receive a modest living stipend, basic health insurance, an AmeriCorps education award of $6,195, and potentially other benefits such as housing assistance. As a result of the program’s past success, the Department of Labor has designated VetsWork as an official apprenticeship program, which allows participants to access additional GI Bill benefits.

“We are excited to have an opportunity to work with military veterans and provide on-the-job training through this internship program,” says Forest Supervisor Joby Timm.

The benefits to both the members and the sponsoring agencies are clear. Members get direct on-the-job training, insider knowledge of the agency, and invaluable networking opportunities, as well as potential non-competitive hiring authorities upon completion on the program.

“[I’m] gaining so much experience and work with so many amazing people--and not to mention what we are giving back to the earth and the community,” said current VetsWork member Chris Sutherland.

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