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Once Again, Getting People Back to Work
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Re-Launching the Civilian Conservation Corps: Looking for a Lead Organization
 
Hi <<First Name>>

As the world faces unprecedented levels of unemployment, the Center on Business against Poverty wants to support a job-creation, social-service concept based on the CCC.

The new Civilian Conservation Corps would seek to create job opportunities while meeting community needs. The following services are just illustrative of the types of work to be supported by a new CCC:
  • Delivering food to seniors (particularly in rural areas)
  • Removing garbage from areas that need to be cleaned
  • Re-painting over low quality graffiti
  • Cleaning along roads where it is safe
  • Planting community areas with appropriate wildflowers and/or trees
  • Taking medicines, legally, to people who cannot go to the pharmacy
  • Reporting on tasks through websites that teams would use to fundraise and communicate for new projects
Initially we’re looking for the following partners:

- Lead Organization: While the Center on Business and Poverty wants to be involved in this opportunity, we are too small. What is really needed is for a large organization to take on this challenge. If you know people at the United Way or LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation), please send this along to them
 
- Funders: individuals and businesses who'd like to see people, especially young people, actively engaged and learning new skills
 
- Project team leaders – people who are experienced in managing projects and team members. We want applications to go to a lead organization from those who have previous experience in fundraising, applying for community grants and/or general team management skills during what is clearly going to be a distressing time for many
 
- Team Members – anyone of any gender, under the age of 30 would be welcome to apply. Applications would also be encouraged from those who currently do not have any previous work experience. Team members should be interested in learning how to populate websites and to use the analytics that are associated with them
 
Team leaders and team members would be expected to principally work on and help manage their designated projects each day, while also helping to create and maintain websites featuring the team’s work, through posting photos and graphics. This would enable further fundraising for their work, and give team members time to create resumes showcasing their newly acquired abilities and experience, including IT skills.

The rate of pay for team leaders would have to be determined. 

Depending on the funding available locally for each specific project, team members may be paid, or would donate their time, as do those who participate in many internships.

Note to potential funders: Support can be given in two ways. One would cover part of the costs to initiate this program. The other would be to fund the costs of designated team projects.

An interesting side note is that all of the urls associated with the name Civilian Conservation Corps are still available at either very low prices or reasonable prices. Or, maybe a whole new name is needed that will appeal to younger people.

An important underpinning
The Basic Universal Income is not a bad idea for the short term. We are also in favor of enhanced unemployment payments, tax code benefits and other means to support people and businesses. We understand the need to get cash into the hands of people all around the world quickly at this juncture. But, long term, people need to work. And they need to learn to work. A situation where many people are assumed to not be needed in the workforce has all kinds of repercussions for societies. Having people not work will influence racism, ageism, and interactions between genders. Not working will also have great influence on communities. People develop skills at work that they often apply in the communities where they live.

Instituting a program like the Civilian Conservation Corps would train young people in how to work and it would impart important tech skills that everyone needs at this time.
 
For further information and to join the conversation, please contact: John Hoffmire at hoffmire@wisc.edu
 
For more information about the CCC see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civilian_Conservation_Corps

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The Center on Business and Poverty is a partnership of businesses, individuals, and non-profits that focus on sustaining and enhancing underserved communities through initiatives, research, writing, networking, and entrepreneurship.
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