DOI / VISTA Team Projects

Colorado Youth Corps Association

Edward Morrison

DOI / VISTA: Edward Morrison
Supervisor: Kate Klitgaard
Address: 1640 Grant Street Suite 210, Denver, Colorado 80203
County: Denver
Voice Telephone: 303-863-0602
Web site:
Congressional District: 5
Bureau: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)


CYCA’s mission is to advance the Colorado youth conservation corps movement. This mission is accomplished by raising resources for youth corps; assuring quality through annual youth corps accreditation; promoting youth corps through legislative advocacy and strategic communication; overseeing AmeriCorps and other National Service programs for youth corps; offering technological and data management solutions for youth corps; fostering high quality educational opportunities for youth corps staff and their participants; and providing professional networking opportunities for youth staff.

About the Surrounding Community

Colorado’s unemployment rate for youth in 2012 was 16.7%. According to Bureau of Labor statistics, the ethnic minority youth unemployment rate is at 20.5%.  While the economic picture in Colorado is beginning to show signs of improvement, recovery is projected to be a lengthy process.  Though the unemployment rate for adults has declined steadily in Colorado, adult unemployment rate for October 2013 was 6.8% compared to 7.3% for the nation. Unskilled and undereducated youth are generally among the last to be hired and more often than not, are hired for low-paying and/or part-time jobs.  According to a study of youth unemployment, young people “experiencing unemployment at an early age have years of lower earnings and an increased likelihood of unemployment ahead of them…leading to decreased wages, increased chances of unemployment and longer future unemployment spells for the most vulnerable” (Employment Policies Institute, 2001). Due to children and youth lacking a close and ongoing relationship with the outdoors, state and federal natural resource agencies are having difficulty recruiting employees who have the necessary skills, experience, education, and emotional connection to the outdoors to take over the management of public lands. In the next five years, as many as 50% of natural agency employees will be able to retire.  Agencies such as the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and National Park Service are having particular problems attracting the next generation of workers, especially those that reflect the changing demographic of Colorado and public lands users. 

Project Overview

DOI/VISTA Edward Morrison is strengthening the recruitment and placement of young people and veterans facing unemployment, poverty, and a lack of education with opportunities with the Bureau of Land Management. In particular, the DOI/VISTA project is focusing on moving Colorado youth corps members into internship positions with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a first step towards a career within the agency. Edward is helping bolster recruitment capacity and easing the path toward accessing internships and employment with BLM to help individuals begin meaningful careers in natural resource management. He is also collaborating with the Careers in Natural Resources Initiative, a collective effort involving more than 40 partners including higher education, non-profits, and other agencies, to increase awareness among career influencers and young people regarding BLM opportunities.

Sponsors and Partners

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