COVID-19 Conservation Corps

2020 Impact Report

Successes and lessons from the COVID-19 Conservation Corps programs in Juneau, Anchorage, and Sitka that trained and employed out-of-work Alaskans in 2020.

by Trail Mix, Inc.

The group gathered to brainstorm solutions to the unsettling reality that the 2020 tourist season wasn’t going to happen.

This would be devastating for many local residents, who rely on the tourism season for work. Data gathered in April showed that 1,771 people in Juneau’s workforce reported being unemployed in Juneau, in addition to an unquantified number of people considered underemployed, unable to meet their living expenses with their current income. Just as Alaska was seeing a 637% increase in unemployment claims statewide, the rate of unemployment within the Juneau Borough had increased by 800%— from 4.2% in April 2019 to 10.9% in April 2020.

With nearly two thousand people already not working and the cancellation of the 2020 tourism season likely to only exacerbate the crisis, the Task Force considered how federal relief funds from the COVID Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) passed by Congress in March could address this. One idea proposed was to retrain people who were out of work and engage local employers to ensure there were jobs for this new workforce once they had been trained. This model for providing quick employment came hand-in-hand with the opportunity to train people with skills needed to join growing sectors of the economy, in partnership with employers in these sectors. Outdoor recreation is a growing and multidimensional industry, providing jobs in the field, in the lab, on the road, in the office and everywhere in between.

Attached document published January 2021

About the Author


Our mission is to be the steward of a safe and enjoyable Juneau Trail System by bringing people and resources together for trail improvements and activities.

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