U.S. Forest Service partnership giving young workers on-the-job training

A partnership between the Forest Service, HistoriCops, and the Job Corps groups from Box Elder and Pine Ridge are giving a group of domestically-disadvantaged youth an opportunity to learn on the job.

RAPID CITY, S.D. — Scraping, camaraderie, and hard work – all in play at the Teepee Work Center in the Black Hills, where six job corps students – three from the Box Elder and three from Pine Ridge – are putting in the work.

“Thought it’d be pretty interesting to kinda leave my mark on history in a sense,” said Trenton Allmon with the Pine Ridge Job Corps.

A partnership between the Forest Service, HistoriCorps, and those job corps groups by way of funds from The Great American Outdoors Act.

Teepee Center Partnership 11

The students restoring cabins at the Work Center that was built in the 1930’s.

“Best way to learn anything is by doing it, so when we get out here, they get a chance to further their education, learn some skills that they probably don’t learn in a classroom and really just get out and get a great experience out of it,” said Derek Sukstorf, a High School Math Teacher with Box Elder Job Corps.

The job corps students hoping to expand their skills — building on their future.

Nadia Trausch hopes to own her own painting company someday, so staining seemed like the perfect fit.

“The history that’s behind it and that it’s a good opportunity and good experience, especially with being a painting trade, I think staining really helps you out with the experience,” Trausch said.

For others, their hard word is hopefully opening doors – opportunities that give them choices as they find out what they want to do.

“Right now, I’m just kinda bouncing around, opening up a bunch of paths, seeing which route I want to go,” Allmon said.

The project — one of many to come in the future as the labor put forth — used to preserve a part of South Dakota’s history.

“It really helps us accomplish historic preservation work that we’ve been struggling to do for a long time that they’re really helping us get some goals that we’ve had for a long time to preserve our historic buildings,” said Lawrence Fullenkam, a Forest Archaeologist with the Black Hills National Forest.

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