95,000 hours have been dedicated to public lands by Intergovernmental Internship Cooperative interns (IIC). The IIC program is a partnership between Southern Utah University, Utah Tech University, various land management agencies, outdoor recreation-focused businesses, foundations, nonprofits, and Native American tribes. This partnership develops challenging internship opportunities for students from a wide range of professional fields. Zion Forever Project is a significant funding partner each year.
These paid internships are part of a more extensive network of corps (The Corps Network) who partner with the National Park Service and other land management agencies. These public-private partnerships engage and empower young adults 18-30, through programs that offer interns real jobs working alongside career employees providing them hands-on experience in everything from trail design and repair to data analytics.
“It is about so much more than just work experience. This network of opportunities helps interns make real connections with professionals in their fields. The students operating in these positions are exactly what we are seeking for the future of our workforce.” –Amanda Rowland, Program Manager Interpretation and Visitor Services, Zion National Park
This year the staff at Zion, Pipe Spring, and Cedar Breaks will expand the program to focus on Native American youth through the newly established Indian Youth Service Corps. With your support, the new initiative will see Native American youth hired as interns working in various fields including valuable work in the field of traditional trades, such as masonry and carpentry work. These positions provide the skills needed to obtain job opportunities within the trades fields in the public and private sectors.
Almost half of all IIC graduates transition to a position in public lands.
“I was an IIC graduate here in Cedar City. That one internship opened me up to a world of options I didn’t think were available and helped me understand the importance of caring for these delicate environments. Now leading these crews, their value cannot be overstated. They can double or triple our workforce.” –Bryan Larsen, Natural Resource Specialist, Cedar Breaks National Monument
This year, the Zion Forever Project was inducted into Southern Utah University’s prestigious Old Main Society for our continued support of the IIC initiative. With your help this season, we hope to maintain that margin of excellence for tomorrow’s leaders and for the parks.