The Department of Ecology has suspended its 2020 Ecology Youth Corps (EYC) summer litter crews for teens 14-17 due to the coronavirus emergency and the uncertainty surrounding the remaining school year.
The statewide closure of Washington’s K-12 schools is impacting the ability of potential applicants to assemble and submit necessary material, including required references.
Statewide directives addressing the emergency have also impacted the Department of Ecology’s (Ecology) ability to schedule interviews and conduct hiring and other mandatory meetings that consist of more than 50 people.
“Our primary responsibility is the safety of our crewmembers,” said Ecology’s Solid Waste Management Program Manager Laurie Davies. “This decision was made out of an abundance of caution and careful consideration of our current situation.”
Much of its roadside litter control responsibilities will shift to Ecology’s adult litter crews, which are already hired and deployed in some areas of the state. Adult crews are using social distancing tactics recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce their chance of exposure to the virus.
Since 1975, Ecology Youth Corps has hired more than 12,000 Washington teens, offering them work experience, a summer job, and the chance to preserve our state’s natural beauty and protect the environment. In 2019, Ecology Youth Corps summer crews cleaned almost 5,000 miles of road and picked up 1,213,250 pounds of litter.