Excel as a High-Performing Agency

5,000 sandbags and counting

Students shoveling sand, filling sandbags.
Anaconda Job Corps students constructed sandbags for residents,
municipal bldgs. USDA Forest Service photo by Kevin Kelly.

MONTANA—The magic number of sandbags needed in Anaconda-Deer Lodge County was 10,000. County residents and businesses are bracing for flooding after a “snowmaggedon” swept across the state in early March, leaving over three feet of snow in its wake. Anaconda Job Corps students came to the aid of their community by constructing 5,000 sandbags, bolstering flood relief efforts and helping to ensure the health and safety of local citizens.

Working six hours a day over a period of four days, 50 Anaconda Job Corps students filled sandbags that are now being used at residential homes and surrounding municipal structures such as the wastewater treatment plant and local airport. Participating students represented the heavy equipment operations, heavy equipment mechanics, welding, carpentry, painting and bricklaying trades.

Anaconda Job Corps students did not limit their efforts to Smelter City, as Anaconda is known amongst locals. They also traveled out to the surrounding communities of Drummond, Hall and Philipsburg to contribute to sandbagging efforts.

Anaconda students contributed a total of 1,200 hours to mitigation efforts. They were joined by six staff members who contributed a total of 144 hours. These substantial efforts did not go unnoticed and community members frequently stopped by to personally thank the students for their efforts.

Anaconda maintains a high profile within both Anaconda-Deer Lodge County and the state of Montana due to its long-standing commitment to being a good neighbor. Its place in the community is confirmed by a note received from Governor Steve Bullock thanking Anaconda students for their assistance after his state of emergency declaration in early March. “Your hard work and dedication to your community continues to positively impact many individuals in Montana.”

Along with supporting the Forest Service national priority of promoting shared stewardship, Civilian Conservation Centers also provide critical support to their local communities and, in program year 2017, volunteered 60,274 hours to community projects, equating to a dollar contribution of $1,488,156.

Civilian Conservation Centers strengthen rural and urban economies by providing youth with the education, skills and work experience to obtain and keep a living wage job. They harness the enormous potential of young people, helping them fulfill their potential while changing their lives, the lives of their families, and, through civic engagement, their communities.

Students filling and stacking sandbags.
Anaconda Job Corps students assemble sandbags for residents, municipal buildings. USDA Forest Service photo by Kevin Kelly.
Students load sandbags into back of a pickup truck.
Anaconda Job Corps students load sandbags into a pickup truck. USDA Forest Service photo by Kevin Kelly.