Inspired by Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal programs, it's the state agency that's been described as a combination "Jesuit seminary, Israeli kibbutz and Marine Corps boot camp."
For over three decades, the California Conservation Corps has offered job training to thousands of once aimless young men and women and then put them to work planting forests, building trails and responding to natural disasters. The CCC has been applauded by both Democrats and Republicans as an example of a government program that works, combining liberal activism with respect for hard work and self-reliance. But despite the praise, the Corps's existence is in peril because of the state's budget crisis. SoCal Connected profiles the mission of the corps, the young men and women who sign up, and the debate over whether California can still afford to keep the CCC.