Summer Youth Employment Program


Youth Conservation Corps positions are available for youth ages 14-21 living in Dakota County, Washington County, and suburban Hennepin County. Applications are available January – March. Residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul must apply through their city’s youth program (see below for more information). Individual Employment Experience positions are available for youth in Dakota County.

Tree Trust hires typically around 300 youth, ages 14-21, each summer as part of the Youth Conservation Corps or for Individual Employment Experiences. As part of the Youth Conservation Corps, participants work with crew leaders outside to complete park improvement projects that have real, lasting value to the community, including building retaining walls and staircases; installing paver patios; and planting trees. Check out this slideshow of various projects Youth Conservation Corps participants have completed over the years. Participants enrolled in Individual Employment Experiences are placed in jobs in schools, nonprofit organizations, and businesses throughout the Twin Cities working in the areas of retail, food service, childcare, custodial, and administrative assistance.

Program Information

All youth work an average of 20 hours per week for nine weeks from mid-June to mid-August. Limited transportation may be provided; be prepared to get to the work site on your own. Job offers are made through a lottery system – applying does not guarantee a position. Each of these employment opportunities provides a unique experience where youth earn wages (with an opportunity for a raise), develop pride in their abilities, and gain transferable skills to take to future jobs. They also have the opportunity to earn academic credit. The community benefits too; residents see improvements in their parks and recreation areas, and businesses get to draw from a competent, experienced workforce of young people.

DSC01097Eligibility Guidelines 

  • Be at least 14 years old and under 22 years old on date program begins.
  • Have low family income, special needs and/or other risk factors. See the Eligibility Fact Sheet for more information.
  • Live in Dakota, Washington, or suburban Hennepin County (not Minneapolis).
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are a resident of Minneapolis, you must apply through the STEP UP program.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are a resident of St. Paul, you must apply through the Right Track program.


Information for Parents and Teachers

  • Tree Trust has 36 years of experience training young people to be successful workers.
  • Youth are supervised by full-time Tree Trust staff who have received at least 80 hours of training.
  • Positions are filled using a lottery system. Applicants will be notified of hiring decisions in early May. Applying does not guarantee a position.
  • The application deadline is March 15. Encourage applicants to apply early to allow time for resubmission if there is a question or missing information.
  • Questions? Contact Brent Eikenhorst, Program Manager at 952-767-3880 or


Tree Trust thanks our 2016 project partners for supporting the Youth Conservation Corps:

Apple Valley Park
Dodge Nature Center
Inver Grove Heights Parks
Cottage Grove Parks
Washington County Parks – Elmo
Washington County Parks – Square Lake
Minnetonka Parks
Plymouth Parks
St. Paul Park & Rec.
Three Rivers – Elm Creek
Three Rivers – Hyland
Golden Valley Parks
Westwood Hills Nature Center
Minneapolis Parks & Rec
Minneapolis Parks & Rec Columbia Golf Course


Tree Trust is a Proud Member of:

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