by Maria Briggs, Great Onyx Job Corps Education Manager:
It is a known fact that some Job Corps Centers are part of the Forest Service, and others are contract centers. Great Onyx Job Corps is part of the Forest Service, and they show their pride through a flourishing support of the Forest Service’s mission statement: “to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nations’ forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations” (U.S. Forest Service, 2017). It is reported on the Forest Service’s main website, ‘“Gifford Pinchot, first Chief of the Forest Service, summed up the mission of the Forest Service: "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.’” The students and staff at Great Onyx Job Corps take this mission to a new level.
In the past, the Fire Team has always been a part of Great Onyx. Students and staff have served on the Fire Team, and they have traveled the country assisting some of the most skilled firefighters that the nation has to offer. Over the past two years, the Fire Team has expanded, and Camp Crews have been added for support of those on the front lines.
Great Onyx currently has 75 students (out of a total of 112 students) and 17 staff members (out of 54 staff members) certified as either Type II Firefighters or Camp Crew Qualified with the successful completion of FEMA Courses IS-100 and IS-700.
On August 18th, 2 staff members and 5 students returned from fighting fires in Montana from August 1st-18th. As of September 1, 2017, Great Onyx has 6 staff members and 30 students deployed across the nation on Camp Crews. Of these, 20 students and 4 staff members are currently in Oregon, providing support for the wildfires in the west.
To the south, 2 staff members and 10 students are staying in a stadium with 500 other individuals, providing support and relief efforts from the devastating results of Hurricane Harvey that swept through and impacted the entire southern and eastern United States.
In addition, 4 more staff members and 20 more students are awaiting assignment to either assist those already deployed, or to add support in a new location. Through these efforts, and with the guidance of the Forest Service, Great Onyx Staff and Students are able to positively impact the world, and provide a great amount of good for a great amount of people.