California Conservation Corps members working on projects at Jefferson Community Center

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EUREKA- State workers are building up the local community on the North Coast.  The California Conservation Corps has been working on projects at the Jefferson Community Center in Eureka since January and will continue to do so for two more weeks.

Every Monday and Wednesday at the Jefferson Community Center, you’ll see 13 California Conservation Corps Fortuna Campus members hard at work.  On Monday, members installed historic windows, worked on plumbing and eliminated rot from cabinets.

"So that members can later come back and join in with the neighbors here at the school and say, 'Hey, we helped with this' And bring their friends and colleagues out to show them what happens when communities take hold of what's going on in their neighborhood and make improvements," said Raquel Ortega, the Conservation Supervisor of the California Conservation Corps Fortuna Campus.

Officials with the Westside Community Improvement Association say the $44,000 of donated labor by the CCC is a big help.

"All we have to do is buy the building materials and so we're getting a huge bang for our buck and we're actually getting better quality work than we could afford to pay for otherwise," said Heidi Benzonelli, the President of the Westside Community Improvement Association.

It’s all part of the College of the Redwood Construction Technology class, that the CCC Fortuna Campus participates in.  Every morning, the instructor teaches the members about various tools, and their tasks for the day.

"Tool use is probably the most important basic foundation and once you learn how to use a tool, you can do a lot of different things, even if we don't cover it in this class," said Bob Felter, the Instructor of Construction Technology at College of the Redwoods.

Some California Conservation Corps members say they plan to use the skills from this class for the rest of their lives.

"I'm looking forward to being a homeowner one day.  So it's an opportunity to learn skills that I otherwise wouldn't have known and I can take with me.  You saw the windowing.  Those are steps you can take to prepare your own household, it's been something that's been very beneficial," said Brittney McGuire, a Humboldt Bay Non Resident California Conservation Corps Member and Member of the CCC Fortuna Campus.

The current Construction Technology class ends in two weeks, but the CCC Fortuna Campus will explore opportunism to continue its partnership with CR and the Westside Community Improvement Association moving forward.