Eco-internships give career seekers green boost




It’s an old complaint. You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. Even in today’s newer green-related industries, teenagers discover this on their first round of job applications, and so do many adults when they try to change careers.


Internships help bridge that gap.

In Boulder County, now is a good time to look at some of the environmentally focused opportunities out there, particularly as some have imminent deadlines for applications.

Boulder County Youth Corps — Designed for that first foot-in-the-door demographic, teenagers ages 14 to 17. Since 1996, the Corps has been paying teenage teams, supervised by adults, to work on summer outdoor projects.

Last summer, 176 teens and 36 adults gathered debris from dead tree removals, maintained hiking trails, repaired picnic tables and constructed fences, among other things.

“They’re doing real, tangible projects that will benefit the county,” says Judy Wolfe, program manager.

And in the process, they gain a work ethic, hands-on skills and knowledge about environmental issues, sustainability and teamwork.

Applicants are rated by points given for a number of factors, such as time availability and references (school grades are not considered).

“Being able to commit to the whole eight-week program scores high,” says Wolfe. “Also needed are willingness to follow the rules, interest in working with a team, and a great attitude.”

Hiring information for teens, and adults to lead them, will be available online on Monday, Jan. 31 at

2011 Boulder County Building Farmers, Market Farm Program — This program offers mentorships/ internships for serious beginning farmers. A hard copy of application and $90 program fee is due no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 31. Mail to Boulder County Extension, 9595 Nelson Road, Box B, Longmont, CO 80501. Or, drop applications off at the extension office, Natural Resources Building, Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Rd., Longmont. Call Adrian Card at 303-678-6383 for more information, or visit fch9up for details and an application

ReSource Boulder — This group offers unpaid, ongoing internships. Currently openings include donation assistant, community outreach assistant and deconstruction research assistant. Details are available at E-mail cover letter, and resume to Shaun LaBarre, ReSource director, at or 303-419-5427.

Boulder Green Building Guild — This guild offers the latest information on education, training, jobs and internships in the green building industry. The upcoming intern openings at BGBG are in marketing, the website and the radio show, for college credit or membership. Details will be available online on Monday, Jan. 31, at

EcoCycle — This local recycling center has occasional internship openings. For more information, call 303-444-6634 in Boulder, 303-772- 7300 in Longmont or 303-243-5820 for Spanish speakers. Or e-mail More information is available online at

Growing Gardens — This Boulder-based organization educates with sustainable gardening programs. Spring semester internships begin Feb. 15 (for college credit). Stipends are available for summer internships; details will be available at the beginning of February. Contact Annie Sweeney, intern supervisor, at 303- 440-8409. See for more information.

Agriculture internships — Boulder County’s organic/sustainable farms and ranches often offer internships. Compensation, housing and other terms vary. See the LocalHarvest online directory at

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