Thursday, January 15, 2009

CCC On The Way Out?

The California Conservation Corps is being eyed as one agency to be axed to deal with the state budget crisis. It was interesting to read just how much each one of those guys and gals cost the state. I know it doesn't go into the line worker's pockets, either.

Seems to me I looked into joining the Conservation Corps many years ago and the pay seemed more like a stipend. If memory serves me correct, you essentially got minimum wage but I believe you also had to pay for your meals, or some such. I never bothered to apply after reading that.

But it's not that way for everyone within the CCC. I had a guy in my old National Guard squad that was a cook for one of the local CCC outfits and, while I don't remember the exact figures, he seemed to get paid quite well.

Is it worth it, paying what we do to have the CCC available locally? It's hard to say. Linda Roush, from the Bureau of Land Management is quoted in the Times- Standard article as saying,
”We would never be able to afford that kind of labor force,”. Looks like she might be right. We might not be able to afford the CCC even as it is now.

The worst part of it, should the CCC end up closing its doors, is yet even more people being out on the streets in search of jobs. These times have gotten scary.


At 8:59 AM, Blogger Kym said...

I've been watching this story with a knot in my stomach.

The Corps provides a structured setting for kids who for various reasons aren't quite ready to survive on their own.

The labor they provide to the area (recently they spent several days at the Eureka Zoo) is the least of what they offer. The Corps helps kids get an education (several attend CR and others are finishing high school diplomas) and learn work skills that make them better employees in the private sector later.

They also have a military style boot camp atmosphere that helps boost physical fitness. One boy is there to get in shape for the army.

My son is currently at the Fortuna office. He is working as a cook and just got his first paycheck for about $900. The rest went for room and board. I love to hear the pride in his voice as he discovers what he is capable of.

He's found a place to experience espirit de corp--helping both himself and society. Killing one more option designed to help young people become productive members of society is short sighted and we will all be the poorer should it be dissolved.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Kym said...

esprit de corps (yikes)

At 9:16 PM, Blogger Hayduke said...

The numbers given in the Times-Standard article were very misleading. The CCC figure was a fully loaded figure including all overhead, including administration. The park ranger was pure salary, without any overhead.

Another way to compare this is to take the total budget for the labor component plus associated equipment and overhead of each (CCC and Parks) and divide by the number of workers. This will show a very different picture that the baloney in the TS.

At 8:43 AM, Blogger Kym said...

Hayduke, I was wondering about that! Thanks for confirming my suspicions!

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I was wondering about this quote from the article: The state funds the corps to the tune of $34 million a year; the corps raises another $24 million.

Then they seem to say that means the total cost is those two figures combined. Seems to me, if the CCC raises $24 million to pay for its own operations, that shouldn't be considered the total cost to the state. It would seem to me they're raising at least some of their operating expenses.

At 9:44 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

To state that more clearly; The 24 million shouldn't be added to the costs to the state since the corp raised it by itself.


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