Outdoor Industry Association® Applauds President Obama’s Vet Job Corps Initiative
For Immediate Release
Outdoor Industry Association
Presidential proposal includes $1 billion for jobs restoring public lands
President Obama on Friday outlined details of his Veterans Job Corps initiative, which aims to put veterans back to work on a range of projects that leverage skills developed in the military. His proposal includes $1 billion to develop a conservation program that will create jobs for veterans restoring public lands, a plan Outdoor Industry Association® (OIA) applauds as an excellent way to provide much-needed attention to public recreation areas, which have faced debilitating budget cuts in recent years.
According to a White House press release, the program will put more than 20,000 veterans to work over the next five years, restoring our great outdoors by providing visitor programs, restoring habitat, protecting cultural resources, eradicating invasive species, and operating facilities. Additionally, our veterans will help make a significant dent in the deferred maintenance of our federal, state, local, and tribal lands through jobs that will repair and rehabilitate trails, roads, levees, recreation facilities, and other assets.
“This is a win-win solution reminiscent of Teddy Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930s,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of OIA. “The public lands that Americans cherish, and which provide valuable opportunities for people to connect with nature and the outdoors, have been suffering from a lack of resources to properly care for them. To create much-needed jobs for our vets while enhancing our nation’s spectacular natural resources will be a boon for our nation’s economy while also injecting vitality into the communities and businesses that depend on quality outdoor recreation for their livelihoods.”
Public lands and the outdoor recreation opportunities they provide are significant contributors to the U.S. economy. OIA’s 2006 economic impact study valued the U.S. active outdoor recreation industry at $289 billion in annual retail sales and services, supporting 6.5 million jobs across the nation and generating $88 billion in annual federal and state tax revenues.
President Obama’s Veterans Job Corps is an investment in the nation’s public lands, as well as a contribution to our nation’s economy. Yet the proposal faces hurdles in Congress, where lawmakers currently lean more towards cutting government spending rather than adding new programs.
Outdoor Industry Association
Based in Boulder, Colorado, Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry and the title sponsor of Outdoor Retailer. OIA supports the growth and success of more than 4,000 manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales representatives, and retailers of outdoor recreation apparel, footwear, equipment, and services. For more information go to outdoorindustry.org or call 303.444.3353.