NPS Recruiting Students to Work in Parks

Aug 15th, 2002 | By | Category: 14-1: Honoring Our Students, Tribal College News

An official from the National Park Service visited the Flathead Reservation in Montana in April to make a plug for the agency as a career opportunity for tribal college students. But he reached more than the students on the Flathead Reservation’s Salish Kootenai College in Pablo. He sent the message out via a televised satellite uplink from the studio of SKC-TV on the college campus, with the potential of reaching more than 18,000 students in America’s tribal colleges at one time. The American Indian Higher Education Consortium Student Congress also planned to send videotapes of the presentation to all the member colleges.

“This maximizes the opportunity (of tribal college students) to learn about the National Park Service and other government jobs,” David W. Harrison, chief of the Office of Higher Education and Park Initiatives in Washington, DC, said in an interview.

One difficulty in applying for jobs with the Park Service, or other federal agencies, is the massive amount of jobs available. There are 20,000 employees in the Park Service alone, for example. The jobs range from law enforcement to firefighters, administrators, maintenance workers, trades people and craft workers, such as plumbers, electricians, and carpenters. There are many openings for interns, seasonal workers, and volunteers, all of which can lead to full-time employment. Information technology also is a growing field.

Many Indian students may live next door to a National Park Service facility because they live on reservations. That means they could start working for the Park Service or other federal facility close to their homes. In fact, the National Bison Range, which is federally managed, is on the Flathead Reservation, and Glacier National Park, plus several wildlife refuges managed by the federal government, are short drives away. Two web sites with information on federal job openings are the National Park Service’s job listing site <www.nps.gov/personnel> and the federal Office of Personnel Management’s massive site <www.usajobs.opm.gov>.

Excerpted with permission from an article by John Stromnes in the Missoulian.

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