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A Special Report: Jobs : SOUTHEAST AREA : Conservation Corps Kicks Off Recruiting

July 11, 1993|MARY HELEN BERG

"Hard work, low pay, miserable conditions . . . and more!"

This motto will be heard throughout the Southeast area this month and next as the California Conservation Corps launches a recruitment drive.

The one-year, state-run program offers young men and women an opportunity to learn job skills such as cutting trails, clearing streams or restoring buildings while working for agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the state Department of Fish and Game and Los Angeles County Public Works Department.

The "work ethic program" pays minimum wage and teaches crew members how to "wake up every morning and be responsible," said Cynthia Aguayo, a recruitment supervisor and former corps member.

The program includes physical training, career classes, an eight-hour work day and evening education courses.

"It's a great program because (the corps members) do public service through their job training," said Dolores Sanchez, a spokeswoman for Assemblywoman Martha M. Escutia (D-Huntington Park), who helped coordinate the recruitment drive.

Corps members often assist during state emergencies such as fires, floods or earthquakes, Aguayo said.

Currently the corps numbers 1,800 members statewide.

"A lot of kids are just looking for a direction," said Suzanne Levitsky, a spokeswoman for the corps. "These (corps) projects sometimes help something click in their minds."

The corps accepts 18- to 23-year-old California residents who are willing to work hard and are not on probation or parole.

Later this month, recruitment stations will be set up throughout the area. A July 22 meeting on recruitment for city and school officials and community organization representatives will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bell Community Center, 6250 Pine Ave.

Information: (213) 582-7774.

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