SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Hard work, low pay, miserable conditions and more. That's the motto of the California Conservation Corps, or the CCC as they are known.
Even if you’ve never heard of them, you’ve probably benefited from the work these young people do. Since 1976, the CCC has provided young adults the paid opportunity to improve California's natural resources and communities.
The CCC is almost always working in the background of major disasters in California, and the coronavirus pandemic is no different.
Alike Howard is one of several crews in rotation constantly, scrubbing, wiping and sterilizing surfaces at the state operation center.
"We've been soaping everything down from microwaves to slabs of concrete making sure everything is clean," Howard said.
CCC members are learning just how important the Governor's Office of Emergency Services is to the state. Cal OES workers protect lives, property and support communities during disasters including the pandemic.
The last disaster corps member Thomas Barry was sent to was a wildfire, something common in the fire-prone state of California. He said his experience sterilizing surfaces during a pandemic has giving him new skills and a new perspective of what an emergency be.
"It makes me feel useful to do my part to help other people do their part," Barry said.
The conservation corps is used to working in miserable or difficult situations, but these young adults are gaining real world job experience, and, according to Howard, the work at Cal OES exciting.
"First time I saw the governor, I called my mom and told her," Howard explained. "She said, 'You're lying.' Now every time I see him, I freeze and think that's no way that’s the governor.
CHECK OUT MORE FROM JOHN BARTELL'S EVERYDAY HERO SERIES:
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