2019 National Conference
Workshops and Plenaries 

Resilience, The Corps Network 2019 National Conference, will feature more than 20 workshops. Workshops are organized into five categories. At the bottom of this list are activities and learning opportunities taking place during the conference, but outside of our workshop blocks on Monday and Tuesday. The full conference schedule will be released in January. Please note that workshops are subject to change.


Why Resilience Matters
Corps promote and support resilience on a number of levels: on an ecosystem level, through thousands of service projects that protect and restore the environment and our natural resources; at the local level by completing projects that improve communities and develop the next generation of workers and leaders; and at the individual level by providing Corpsmembers with the resources and support they need to become successful adults.

This panel will address the intersection of these related issues and the importance of utilizing a multi-level approach to bolster overall community resilience. Mayor Nutter and Clarence Anthony will open the plenary by discussing the importance of resilient communities as made visible by their work with city governments. They will be followed by a panel of foundation representatives whose organizations have made resiliency a programmatic priority.

Building Resilient Communities through National Service
Corps build resilient communities through national service. This plenary will highlight essential partners in this effort, including the Corporation for National and Community Service, Service Year Alliance, and the Commission on Military, National and Public Service. We will discuss strategies to engage more young people in building stronger communities, ecosystems, and a stronger country as a whole. The session will begin with remarks from the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Barbara Stewart, and then move into a panel discussion addressing future opportunities in the national service sector.

Partnership for the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps
The 21CSC is a bold national effort to provide thousands of America’s young people and veterans an opportunity to serve their country, build urban and rural economies, strengthen America’s infrastructure, and work to restore and enhance America’s great outdoors. The Partnership for the 21CSC supports the development and implementation of the 21CSC by focusing on the following areas: raising non-federal funding; bolstering federal support; and expanding structural mechanisms to support the 21CSC. Come celebrate successes from the past year and learn what’s in store for the coming year.

The Moving Forward Initiative Presents: Developing and Utilizing a Racial Equity Lens in Our Work
In this keynote session, Dr. Heather Hackman will discuss the elements of a Racial Equity Lens and share how we can incorporate this lens into our daily work. Areas addressed in this talk include understanding how systems and history set in motion and continue to impact the current racial realities in the United States, and how white people – and all people – can best work towards racial equity in this current national moment. Dr. Hackman has taught and trained on this content for over 25 years and is the founder of Hackman Consulting Group, a nationally respected consulting firm whose focus is “Equity and Social Justice for a Changing World.”


Moving Forward Initiative

This portion of the Conference made possible with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Learn about The Corps Network Moving Forward Initiative, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation

  • Diversity Joint Venture: Increasing Opportunities for Women and People of Color in the Conservation Workforce
    Monday, February 11, 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 
    The Diversity Joint Venture for Conservation Careers (DJV) is a partnership of federal and state agencies, universities, non-governmental organizations, foundations, and professional societies that collaborate to increase the number of women and people of color in the conservation workforce. DJV efforts include introducing students and potential employees to the conservation field, providing resources to individuals to find internships and jobs in the conservation workforce, advising employers about recruitment and hiring practices, and supporting opportunities for career growth and development for women and people of color. At this workshop we will discuss the vision for the venture and engage in meaningful “equitable” conversations with those from the Corps community.


  • Environmental Activism, Employment and Entrepreneurship
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    In looking at potential pathways to success for our Corpsmembers in the environmental and/orconservation field, we are also going to take a look at environmental entrepreneurs whose business efforts are not only driven by profit, but also by a concern for the environment. Through this workshop we will explore various avenues where our Corpsmembers can apply their awareness about environmental issues, the skills that they are building, and the lessons learned from their Corps experience into a fulfilling career.


  • Putting Equity in the Center at Your Organization
    Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    What does it mean to put “Equity” in the Center? What are the steps that need to be taken? What can others learn from your path? Through this discussion, Candice Blackwell (Civic Works), A. Adar Ayira (Baltimore City Office of Civil Rights), Kerrien Suarez (Equity in the Center) and Tonya Gayle (Green City Force) will share their insights and practices that organizations can use to shift organizational culture and move from a dominant organizational culture to a Race Equity Culture.


  • Unpacking the Moving Forward Initiative Plenary
    Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
    Join Juanita C. Brown, Mahdi Davenport and Capri St. Vil in an interactive workshop where we will look to unpack the points presented not only in the plenary, but in the overall work of the Moving Forward Initiative. This workshop will focus on racial equity and the development of a critical race lens as applied to our Corps. We will explore the application of a critical race lens and what that means to our Corps as well as in our lives. This is an interactive workshop where we will look to balance theory and practice, but it also expects that workshop participants will bring specific questions with them.

Project/Partnership Focused

  • Recreational Trail Program Innovative Practices & Technologies
    Tuesday, February 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is an assistance program of the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) that provides funds to help develop and maintain recreational trails, programs, and facilities. This workshop will provide the resources, best practices, and collaboration for how Corps can utilize RTP funding for highly technical trail projects and recreational programming. From constructing snowmobile trails to developing urban greenways, RTP funds can assist with implementing a wide range of innovative projects and technologies beyond standard trail maintenance projects.


  • National Park Service and Corps Partnerships
    Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    The National Park Service (NPS) model for engaging youth on federal lands has evolved drastically since the Youth Conservation Corps Act of 1970. Participants in this dialogue will explore where we’ve been, successes we’ve had through increased communication with Corps partners, and how we can leverage those improvements to move forward. Join Youth Programs professionals from the National Park Service’s regional and national offices as they discuss ways to strengthen Corps and NPS partnerships.


  • The United States Forest Service Resource Assistants Program
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    The Resource Assistants Program (RAP) provides interns with the training, mentorship, and experience to launch their natural and cultural resource careers with a federal land management agency. This workshop will provide Corps with the tools for recruiting, engaging, and transitioning highly qualified interns. You’ll also learn how to develop relationships with your local Forest Service ranger districts and research stations, hear stories from current interns in the field, and learn how to navigate the RAP noncompetitive Hiring Authority.


  • Access for All: A Review of the Federal Accessibility Requirements for Trails and Recreation Sites
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    The U.S. Access Board established minimum accessibility requirements under the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA) for trails, picnic and camping areas, viewing areas, fishing piers, boating facilities, and beach access routes. These requirements apply to new construction and alterations of these facilities when located on federal lands. The Corps Network staff and volunteers need an understanding of these minimum requirements to ensure that all projects incorporate the accessibility requirements, promoting access for all, including our veterans.


  • Regional-Scale Corps Partnerships
    Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
    Forming a regional Corps partnership can seem like an attractive idea due to the advantages of a large single funder, a shared services operation, and economies of scale, but it can also have unique challenges. This workshop will bring together practitioners to share their lessons learned from overcoming challenges such as geographical separation, communication, project scheduling, reporting, and competitive collaboration.


  • Disaster Resiliency Beyond Response: Strategy Discussion
    Monday, February 11, 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    New legislation to reform FEMA and its programs was recently passed to prioritize mitigation and resilience. Additionally, there are existing funding streams and partnerships that could be better utilized to increase Corps’ engagement in local, state, and national disaster projects.Join this strategy roundtable to discuss where The Corps Network’s advocacy and partnership efforts should be directed to better support future Corps engagement in disaster mitigation, recovery and resiliency project work.


  • The National Park Foundation Love Your Park Initiative
    Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    The National Park Foundation (NPF) is developing a cross-sector network for park partners and allies, called “Love Your Park” (LYP). The goal of the network is to better the parks and the visitor experience through increased volunteerism, Service Corps, and financial support to parks. NPF just completed a first year of pilot projects across the country that were used to test out the network model on a local level and collect baseline data on volunteerism and Service Corps work and the resounding impact on parks. Join this session to discover the lessons learned from the pilots, the impact of the work NPF completed with national youth Corps organizations, and what to expect from the LYP Network in the coming months.

Corpsmember Development

  • Post-Program Tracking and Alumni Engagement
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    Following Corpsmembers after they leave our programs is a challenge for many Corps. With a growing emphasis on skill attainment and workforce development, funders are increasingly interested in what happens to Corpsmembers after their Corps experience. This workshop will explore what several Corps are doing to track and engage Corps alumni after they complete their service. We will also brainstorm other best practices to adopt in this area.


  • Metaphors Cultivating Healing and Post-Traumatic Growth
    Tuesday, February 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Our use of story can educate, invigorate imagination, and offer cultural insight into the work that we do. Story also builds community and mitigates cultural stereotypes that limit the success of our efforts. With stories and metaphors, your Corpsmembers can make relevant and meaningful connections to your organization’s mission that encourage mindfulness in their thoughts and actions and ultimately benefit the work that you do. This training will inform participants about the Washington Conservation Corps Veterans Conservation Corps program, the use of metaphor among veterans in the program, and provide tools to develop your own metaphor to engage, retain, and empower your Corpsmembers.


  • Barriers and Opportunities for Civic Engagement & Education
    Tuesday, February 12, 1:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
    A reduction in civic education has been cited as contributing to lower voter turnout rates and greater apathy toward established civic institutions. At the same time, we see communities and young people with important assets want to engage in meaningful ways. How do young people who have been harmed by institutional and systemic biases gain confidence in civic engagement and how can Corps support them?


  • Cross-Age Peer Mentoring Program Design: Corpsmembers as Mentors
    Tuesday, February 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    A small body of literature has identified cross-age peer mentoring (CAPM) as an effective mentoring model that is reciprocal in nature, affecting the outcomes of both mentees and mentors. This workshop will review the results of a study that utilized mentors from the Montgomery County Conservation Corps (MCCC). The results of this study found the mentor benefits of engaging in the CAPM program included: (a) giving back, (b) preventing idleness, and (c) creating a sense of community. The findings suggest that CAPM has the potential to serve as an intervention model for programs working with disengaged young adults.


Workforce Development

  • Preparing Young Adults for Entry and Advancement in High Demand and High Growth Career Sectors
    Monday, February 11, 1:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. 
    Water infrastructure is deteriorating around the country and, along with other infrastructure industries, faces a high retirement rate among workers. Many Corps have programming to support career pathways into the water and environmental technician sector and new programs are being created to bring in the next generation workforce to meet the industry’s talent needs. How can we use models such as JFF’s CareerNext to guide the development and scale of these new programs? How can you structure your program to best meet infrastructure workforce needs and ensure Corps members are getting the right work experience, credentials, and job placement assistance to be successful? Where is the industry going and why? Speakers will share key lessons that could inform work in this critical sector of our economy.


  • Best Practices for Managing the Public Lands Hiring Authority
    Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

    Corpsmembers are offered exciting opportunities to launch rewarding careers with Federal agencies through the Public Lands Corps (PLC) non-competitive hiring authority. This year, many Corps learned how to navigate new regulations, processes, and agency-dependent policies to assist Corpsmembers in claiming hiring eligibility and applying for Federal positions. This workshop will provide an overview of the regulations and policies from Federal agencies, and explore best practices from Corps who have created internal systems to better maneuver the process for success.


  • Apprenticeships – What’s the Hype and What Does it Mean for Corps
    Monday, February 11, 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
    There is renewed energy around utilizing the apprenticeship model as a way to ensure pathways to family-sustaining careers. These models can look different based on your program model, partnerships, and goals. This workshop will look at how apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeships work, how you start one, and what are federal partners doing to support their development. What are some areas Corps could be thinking about and what are some challenges? What are some best practices Corps could incorporate into their programs? What are some policy changes that can be made to increase Corps involvement in the space? Find the answer to these questions as we discuss specific apprenticeship models, work through issues relating to apprenticeship development, and look at the future potential for apprenticeships in Corps programs.


  • Customer Service Excellence Training: Corpsmembers Transition to Placement Services
    Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    This workshop will provide Corps staff with a service that can be shared with Corpsmembers to help prepare them for post-program placement. The training is broken into six modules in which the Corpsmembers can interact with each other in learning the following: elements needed to create a professional portfolio to present to employers, time management and the importance of attendance, communication and presentation styles, how to give and take feedback, making everyone feel like an important customer, interviewing tips, leadership and basic rights, and safety in the workplace.


Organizational Resilience

  • New Lens: Rethinking Resilience
    Tuesday, February 12, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Resilience is defined as “1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness” and “2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.” How do we apply this definition to the way in which we view resiliency in others? Do we take into consideration how our own uniquely conditioned values and experiences have framed this viewing lens? Do we use the “correct lens” when observing each human’s unique actions and responses to life experiences, thereby enhancing the relationships, empathy, understanding, and support we offer our Corpsmembers? Join us in this experiential and thought-provoking workshop as we challenge ourselves to see and understand others through a “new lens.”


  • Disaster-Proofing Your Corps
    Monday, February 11, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
    Organizational disaster-readiness plans are commonly viewed as an afterthought, but a solid plan can make the difference between an organization enduring a major shock or folding following a disaster. With best practices taken from the accreditation process, workshop attendees will learn about the elements of a disaster-readiness plan and the essential investments of time, training, and money that go into creating one.


  • Best Practices for Staff Support and Development
    Monday, February 11, 10:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
    Staff retention and development are key to the success of any organization, but with a booming economy coupled with the high stress situations that accompany most Corps staff positions, Corps are finding it harder to keep employees long-term and create space for their personal and professional growth. This workshop will feature a variety of strategies that Corps execute to create a team that is high-performing, committed, and professionally fulfilled.


Optional Additional Events

Already registered and interested in attending one of these optional sessions?
You can register for a session by modifying your current registration and checking the box next to the session on the “optional sessions” page of your registration. To modify you registration, follow this link, input your email and confirmation number, and click the “modify” button. On the following page, click the “registration” link under the “modify” heading. Make sure you follow the steps and save your modifications at the end. If you are unsure of your confirmation number, please contact Bobby Tillett at [email protected].


  • Critical Mentoring Training Session
    (9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.)
    Critical Mentoring is a youth-focused framework designed to integrate critical race theory into the world of mentoring. This framework openly considers and evaluates race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexuality in program design and in cultivating impactful and effective mentoring relationships. Critical Mentoring challenges the notion that youth assimilate to the cultural norm, and instead seeks to support youth become their authentic selves by identifying their assets and helping them enhance these qualities on their path towards critical consciousness and transformation within their communities. Join us as we hear from the scholar and practitioner, Dr. Torie Weiston-Serdan.
  • Core Skills Mastery: Building High Performance Competencies that Lead to College and Career
    (1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.)

    CSM is a new approach to education and work readiness that focuses on performance competencies: problem solving; the ability to learn independently; attention-to-detail; persistence and self-reliance; and an “I’ll knock it out of the ballpark!” attitude. CSM can also gain the student college math credit (the American Council on Education recommends CSM for 3 semester hours of quantitative reasoning at the baccalaureate level), and is aligned with key aspects of the Common Employability Skills framework. Most importantly, CSM utilizes new pedagogy and technology to address self-identity and self-efficacy, which are the essential building blocks of student success. Join Dr. David Goldberg to learn more about CSM and how it can assist our Corpsmembers with strategies for success in any academic program, workplace, and in life.


  • Evaluation of Project Partner Benefits
    (12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.)
    This session will serve as an update on our progress toward plan implementation for the Project Partner Benefits Evaluation. This evaluation was created for Corps with AmeriCorps programs to fulfill their evaluation requirement for AmeriCorps re-compete applications. Programs that are in the evaluation or interested in learning more are welcome to attend.
  • State and Local Projects Coalition: Kick-off Meeting
    (12:30pm – 1:45pm)
    Open to representatives from member Corps, this session will serve as the kick-off meeting for TCN’s newest coalition – The State and Local Project Coalition (SLPC). Heavily involved in the education and workforce development space, the goal of the SLPC is to improve Corpsmembers outcomes and increase project volume for Corps focused on local recruitment and engaged in community-based projects. The SLPC will help shape and support federal legislation establishing dedicated funding for Corps operations, as well as be a “community of learning” that seeks to strengthen Corps programming by documenting best practices. The Coalition’s focus will primarily be on agreements, funding, program best practices, project development on the state and local level, and model work being done by state-based Corps advocacy organizations and active Corps in these areas. This kick-off meeting will outline the coalition’s goals and structure, as well as facilitate a conversation around 2019 priorities.


  • Decade of Fire
    (7:00 p.m. – Atlantic Plumbing Cinema, 807 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001)

    In the 1970s, the Bronx was on fire. Left unprotected by the city government, nearly a half-million people were displaced as their close-knit, multiethnic neighborhood burned, reducing the community to rubble. While insidious government policies caused the devastation, Black and Latino residents bore the blame. In this story of hope and resistance, Bronx native Vivian Vazquez exposes the truth about the borough’s sordid history and reveals how her embattled and maligned community chose to resist, remain, and rebuild. Co-producer/Co-director Vivian Vazquez will join us in a group discussion after the viewing.