The Bureau of Reclamation is launching multiple efforts to support the employment, education and engagement of young people to empower their future and to meet Reclamation’s workforce goals. Reclamation’s science and engineering expertise is known throughout the world and provides a unique opportunity for youth seeking careers in those fields of study. With a great percentage of its workforce eligible for retirement in the next 3 to 5 years, Reclamation could soon find itself with a shortage of qualified professionals with key technical skills or knowledge. The agency is taking aggressive steps to employ and educate a new generation of workers to maintain the high standards for which Reclamation is known.
Reclamation actively participates in career fairs at all levels including high school career day presentations. Volunteers use these visits as recruitment opportunities to discuss careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, an educational term used to describe advanced degrees and careers in the various subjects.
Examples of youth outreach events include:
Human resource officers in Denver participate in Girls Exploring Science, Technology and Math. The Rocky Mountain Section of the Society of Women Engineers, Lockheed Martin, Junior Achievement of the Rocky Mountains, Inc. and the Women’s Foundation of Colorado collaborate each year to produce this event for hundreds of girls. At GESET, Reclamation staff hosts workshops on Water Resources to middle school girls. In Idaho, Reclamation actively advocates the STEM initiative by participating in the University of Idaho Women in Math and Science program in Boise. Reclamation also participates in “Chicks in Science” at Montana State University in Billings, Mont. All three events are designed to encourage young women to pursue studies in STEM.
Annually, Reclamation hosts High School Bridge Building Competitions. In February, the Denver Technical Service Center’s Materials Engineering and Research Laboratory hosts its competition where students from around Colorado participate. In March, about 2,000 students form more than 50 local elementary, middle and high schools participate in the Southern Nevada Regional School Model Bridge Building Contest. Awards and scholarships are presented to winners.
In the state of Washington, Reclamation employees make presentations at high schools and universities in the region, providing technical information on how to apply for jobs in the federal government as well as information on Reclamation’s mission, work experience programs and the types of training and careers Reclamation has to offer. They also post entry-level vacancy announcements on college and university profile websites, as well as LinkedIn.com in order to reach diverse populations.
Reclamation partnered with The Student Conservation Association to help develop a national Youth Conservation Corps for Reclamation. Two examples in 2013 include:
•Under SCA, two students worked at Catherine Creek in Oregon with a surveying crew
•Under YCC, a 9-12 person crew worked to maintain fire breaks in Auburn, Calif., part of the American River Canyon, while learning vegetation management and team work.
Reclamation is committed to providing various employment opportunities like these to enthusiastic youth applicants, encouraging them to pursue careers in the fields of STEM. By doing so, Reclamation will fulfill its mission through hiring future employees from a qualified, energized and innovative talent pool.
To learn more about Reclamation’s youth opportunities, please visit: http://www.usbr.gov/youth/
Released: April 30, 2014