As part of a new green curriculum, students from Oconaluftee Job Corps will be helping on a variety of projects in Western North Carolina.
This includes transplanting culturally significant rivercane with Western Carolina University in Cherokee; building an educational trail with the Watershed Association for the Tuckasegee River in Dillsboro; and trail revitalization on the Cheoah Ranger District in Robbinsville.
The Oconaluftee Job Corps currently serves 68 at-risk students who get a new lease on life through vocational training, education and life skills. The idea behind the new green curriculum is to expand employment opportunities for its graduates, help revitalize local economies in rural communities and enhance the mission of the agency, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said.
Job Corps students have fought forest fires, planted trees, improved wildlife habitat and built or maintained recreation facilities and miles of hiking trails.