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Nixon Promotes Youth Summer Jobs Program


Governor Jay Nixon was on the campus of Missouri State University today to discuss the state’s nationally recognized State Parks Youth Corps program. KSMU’s Chasity Mayes reports.

The State Parks Youth Corps program, referred to as SPYC,-- that’s S-P-Y-C- put several hundred young people to work last summer at Missouri’s state parks and historic sites. The program received national honors in September when it and Nixon were awarded the President’s Award from the National Association of State Parks Directors.

The program will return in 2011 employing Missourians between the ages of 17 and 21 to work at state parks and historic sites.

Nixon says it’s a great opportunity for young people to gain experience and get outside.

“We really believe it’s been a training ground for the outdoor leaders of tomorrow. It’s part of the larger youth and nature initiative that we’re working on. The First Lady is heading that up for me in which we’re working with all of our folks to get people outside. As we say, get outside where you can learn lessons that only nature can teach and outside there are no reruns,” says Nixon.

Today’s event was held in the Anthropology lab in Strong Hall at MSU. Besides providing summer jobs, the SPYC program allows its members to participate in archeological digs. With the help of MSU Anthropology professor Dr. Elizabeth Sobel, some of last year’s participants presented their findings from the Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site at today’s meeting. More than 15 Missouri State students worked at the historic site last summer.

Sobel says the SPYC program gives students hands-on experience doing a job they love.

“That opportunity provided fantastic work experience for those students in their chosen field of study. They did routine work. They also all got to participate in research and this is fantastic resume building and networking and confidence building in particular in the fields of study that they have a passion for,” says Sobel.

Nixon added that it’s not too early to apply for this year’s jobs with the youth corps program. Not all available jobs involve being in the heat. They’re looking to fill every position from answering phones to repainting buildings.

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For KSMU News, I’m Chasity Mayes.