Gretchen Van De Carr and the board and staff of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps: Thank you

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Thank you

We, the board and staff at Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, would like to thank the community for the overwhelming congratulations on our recent acquisition of more than $238,000 in stimulus funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This stimulus funding is part of the first 10 percent of stimulus funds to be provided through the U.S. Forest Service throughout the nation, and it is intended as a one-time infusion for short-term implementation of projects that are "shovel ready."

As such, RMYC is collaborating with the Colorado Youth Corps Association, Southwest Conservation Corps (Durango) and Western Conservation Corps (Grand Junction) to provide youth corps saw crews to assist in continuing mitigation efforts of the serious issues surrounding the mountain pine beetle infestation in our surrounding national forests.

This funding represents a portion (about 85 percent) of the total costs associated with putting 10-person youth corps saw crews into the field to provide these valuable services. The required matching funds for this stimulus money must come from local donations and grants.

We would like to thank the many local financial supporters, including Routt County United Way, the city of Steamboat Springs and Routt County through the Human Resource Coalition, the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Ski Corp.'s Environmental Fund, Ski Corp.'s Recreation Fund, the Bernice-Gates Family Foundation, SmartWool Advocacy Fund, Steamboat Springs Rotary Club, the Steamboat Springs Kiwanis Club, local banks and businesses, and hundreds of individual donors. Your financial contributions were vital to our eligibility for this stimulus funding.

In times of economic recession, the youth and young adult workers realize a far greater negative impact (5 to 6 times greater) in their ability to find employment. Without these local matching funds, RMYC would not be able to place an additional 32 young people into seasonal job positions to perform 24 weeks of beetle kill mitigation work. Not only do these corps members receive a wage, but more than 60 percent of them also receive a scholarship for higher education through AmeriCorps.

RMYC continues to look for ways to collaborate with other local partners to reduce costs within our conservation corps programs, as well as our Yampa Valley Science School and Residential Energy Audit programs as we leverage local donations 5-to-1 with outside funds such as this stimulus funding. For every local dollar donated, RMYC generates five outside dollars.

Thanks once again for your continued support and commitment to revitalizing our community and economy from the ground level up. Providing resources for young people to gain meaningful employment and job-readiness skills, and afford higher education can only increase our base of long-term sustainability and community strength.

Gretchen Van De Carr and the board and staff of Rocky Mountain Youth Corps

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