Corps membership — Eligibility — Coordination of recruitment activities — Enrollment period.
(1)(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, conservation corps members must be unemployed or underemployed residents of the state between eighteen and twenty-five years of age at the time of enrollment who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.
(b) The age requirements may be waived for corps leaders, veterans, specialists with special leadership or occupational skills, and participants with a sensory or mental handicap.
(2) The recruitment of conservation corps members is the primary responsibility of the department. However, to the degree practicable, recruitment activities must be coordinated with the following entities:
(a) The department of natural resources;
(b) The department of fish and wildlife;
(c) The state parks and recreation commission;
(d) The Washington department of veterans affairs;
(e) The employment security department;
(f) Community and technical colleges; and
(g) Any other interested postsecondary educational institutions.
(3) Recruitment efforts must be targeted to, but not limited to, residents of the state who meet the participation eligibility requirements provided in this section and are either:
(a) A student enrolled at a community or technical college, private career college, or a four-year college or university;
(b) A minority or disadvantaged youth residing in an urban or rural area of the state; or
(c) Military veterans.
(4) Corps members shall not be considered state employees. Other provisions of law relating to civil service, hours of work, rate of compensation, sick leave, unemployment compensation, state retirement plans, and vacation leave do not apply to the Washington conservation corps except for the crew supervisors, who shall be project employees, and the administrative and supervisory personnel.
(5) Except as otherwise provided in this section, participation as a corps member is for an initial period of three months. The enrollment period may be extended for additional three-month periods by mutual agreement of the department and the corps member, not to exceed two years.
(6)(a) Corps members are to be available at all times for emergency response services coordinated through the department or other public agency. Duties may include sandbagging and flood cleanup, oil spill response, wildfire suppression, search and rescue, and other functions in response to emergencies.
(b) Corps members may be assigned to longer-term specialized crews not subject to the temporal limitations of service otherwise imposed by this section when longer-term commitments satisfy the specialized needs of the department, an agency partner, or other service contractee.
[2011 c 20 § 7; 1999 c 280 § 5; 1995 c 399 § 112; 1990 c 71 § 2; 1988 c 78 § 1; 1986 c 266 § 48. Prior: 1985 c 230 § 7; 1985 c 7 § 110; 1983 1st ex.s. c 40 § 7.]
| Findings -- Intent -- 2011 c 20: See note following RCW 43.220.020.|
Legislative finding -- 1990 c 71: "The legislature finds that the Washington conservation corps has proven to be an effective method to provide meaningful work experience for many of the state's young persons. Because of recent, and possible future, increases in the minimum wage laws, it is necessary to make an adjustment in the limitation that applies to corps member reimbursements." [1990 c 71 § 1.]
Severability -- 1986 c 266: See note following RCW 38.52.005.