Youth Corps Crew

BLM-WCCC photo

Our Project Sponsors

Youth corps collaborate with a variety of local, state, private, and federal agencies to accomplish projects.

What Project Sponsors Need to Know

From project planning to completion, it’s easy to use a youth corps. Youth corps are turnkey operations that get the job done. They arrive with the equipment, skills and supervision to succeed. If you have a land, water or energy conservation project, need a labor force, and would like to engage young people and military veterans (ages 14-25, depending on the type of project) in your project, we can help. Youth corps can assess the project and assign the right type and age crew based on the project sponsors’ needs.

Youth corps typically collaborate for local, state, or federal government agencies but can also, under some circumstances, conduct projects on private lands, in private homes, and for homeowners associations.

A youth corps crew can be as small as two people to as many as twelve, depending on the project sponsors’ needs. Several youth corps also operate Veteran Green Corps Crews and can employ young adult or veteran interns for your agency.

Youth corps offer a number of options for collaboration. In some instances, a community partner of agency will collaborate directly with a youth corps to secure a crew or intern and in other instances, a partner or agency will coordinate with CYCA to access the type of service they are seeking.  The information, below, offers general guidance about the services that youth corps provide.

What Youth Corps Are

  • Youth job-training, work-experience, and education programs
  • Programs focused on developing young people through service and learning

What Youth Corps Are Not

  • Professional work crews
  • Volunteer programs
  • Recreation programs

Types of Projects

Land Conservation

  • Constructing and maintaining Colorado’s trail system
  • Improving outdoor recreation amenities such as playgrounds and parks
  • Mitigating fire fuels
  • Flood and fire restoration
  • Restoring wildlife habitat
  • Mitigating and removing invasive species
  • Verifying and capturing GPS data
  • Restoring riparian areas
  • Constructing/deconstructing fences

Water Conservation

  • Installing water-saving measures in low-income residents’ homes and other buildings
  • Mitigating thirsty invasive species
  • Constructing and planting drought-tolerant xeriscape gardens

Energy Conservation

  • Installing energy-saving measures and weatherizing low-income residents’ homes and other buildings
  • Constructing and rehabilitating affordable housing using energy-saving technology

Other Services

  • Disaster relief
  • Historic preservation


Shared Project Responsibilities

Hosting a youth corps requires cooperation, communication, and shared responsibility. Many sponsors ask “what do I need to provide?” The chart below details how youth corps generally share responsibility. Of course, a project may require a different breakdown of responsibilities which you can discuss with corps staff.

Youth Corps Responsibilities

Project Sponsor Responsibilities

  • Pre-project walk-through with sponsor’s staff
  • Adult supervision
  • Youth/young adult or military veteran crew (size of crew, skills, and age of corpsmembers based on project sponsor need and project type)
  • Basic tools
  • Transportation
  • Camp equipment & food (if necessary)
  • Project planning
  • Pre-project walk-through with corps staff
  • Specialty tools or heavy equipment (some corps own and operate chippers)
  • Sponsor staff person available to answer questions and check work regularly
  • Complete an end of project evaluation
  • Camp sites (if necessary)
  • Potable water (for camping crews)
  • Access to toilet facilities
  • Horse/llama packing services (if necessary)
  • Fee-for service

Project Costs

Youth corps operate using a fee-for-service funding structure. There are standard crew week rates for projects managed by CYCA.

To learn about funding opportunities that may cover all or a portion of these costs, go to the Funding Leads page.

Crew Types

Youth corps offer full size crews (8-10 people, 320 hours per week), smaller crews and S.W.A.T. teams. For more information, contact Scott Segerstrom ( or 303-863-0604) or the corps that serves your area.

The fee-for-service provided by sponsor agencies often does not cover the full cost of a crew. The youth corps solicits private funds to make up the difference (15% – 35% beyond agency support). Frequently, CYCA and the local youth corps program can help find grants and other funding sources to offset the fee-for-service rate. If you have a project in mind but do not have the funds to pay for it, please contact us or the corps that serves your region, as we may be able to help.

CYCA’s Role in Projects

Project sponsors can either hire a youth corps directly or ask CYCA to help manage the project(s). CYCA generally manages projects when a project sponsor or agency would like to hire multiple youth corps for multiple projects or when they need assistance with reporting or administrative functions. CYCA can ease the administrative burden for project sponsors and youth corps, thereby freeing agency resources for other functions.

CYCA Project Management Services:

  • Comprehensive project accomplishment reporting, financial accountability, youth engagement outcomes, data management, and sponsor satisfaction
  • Increased efficiency on complex, multi-corps, multi-region projects.
  • Ease administrative burden on agencies and youth corps
  • Assurance that that youth corps adhere to accreditation standards
  • Assurance of quality work

CYCA’s project management fee covers all of the following:

  • Maintain an annual youth corps accreditation process which covers governance, administrative practices, risk management, corpsmember experience and education, and project quality (standards available upon request).
  • Develop project contracts with individual youth corps for funded projects.
  • Manage accounts payable to youth corps.
  • Guaranteed high-quality work product from youth corps with option to withhold payment if work quality is in question.
  • Data management and reporting (both qualitative and quantitative for corpsmembers, financials, and project outcomes).
  • Ongoing cross-pollination of best practices among youth corps, especially related to risk management, training, and corpsmember experience.
  • Traditional and social media campaigns – local and statewide – in coordination with youth corps and project partners.

Our Impacts

  • Corpsmembers conducted energy audits and installed energy saving measures in the homes of 8,173 low-income residents
  • Corpsmembers installed 13,427 compact fluorescent light bulbs, 1,810 aerators, 595 showerheads, and 1,897 high efficiency toilets
  • Energy and water savings from these measures was equivalent to taking 111 cars off the road, resulted in annual savings of $262,000, and saved the equivalent of 86 Olympic-size pools of water
  • Corpsmembers built 65 miles of pedestrian, off-highway vehicle, bicycle, and equestrian trails.
  • Corpsmembers maintained 287 miles of pedestrian, off-highway vehicle, bicycle, and equestrian trails
  • Corpsmembers installed 1,190 rock steps and 3,570 feet of rock walls
  • Corpsmembers constructed, maintained and/or removed over 45 miles of fence
  • Corpsmembers removed 31,000 beetle-kill, invasive, or hazard trees from forests and riparian areas
  • Corpsmembers cut/bucked 22,902 trees
  • Corpsmembers maintained 124 campgrounds
  • Corpsmembers planted 15,600 grasses and plants as well as 19,050 trees
  • Youth corps engaged 4,990 volunteers in community service projects for a total of 23,380 hours of volunteer service

For specific information or to find the youth corps that serves your area and to discuss project opportunities, contact Scott Segerstrom, CYCA executive director ( or 303-863-0604). Or view the region map and contact the corps that serves your region.