2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 12 - CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES
CHAPTER 11 - GEORGIA YOUTH CONSERVATION CORPS
§ 12-11-7 - Enrollment of members; considerations in development of corps program; education component; independent participation by youth served by state agencies
. Enrollment of members; considerations in development of corps program; education component; independent participation by youth served by state agencies
(a) (1) Corps members shall be residents of the state between 14 and 25 years of age at the time of enrollment who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States. No person shall be enrolled in the corps if such person has been convicted of a felony or has been adjudicated as delinquent for an offense which, if such person had been tried as an adult, would have been a felony.
(2) Under such rules as are promulgated by the board, the commissioner shall be authorized to enroll persons 14 to 17 years of age as corps members with the following prerequisites:
(A) Enrollment in the corps does not have the effect of encouraging the person to leave school;
(B) If the person is unemancipated, the express written permission from a parent or guardian is obtained; and
(C) Compliance is achieved with applicable federal and state labor laws and education laws.
(3) The maximum age requirement may be waived for corps leaders and specialists with special leadership or occupational skills; such leaders and specialists shall be given special responsibility for providing leadership, character development, and a sense of community responsibility to the corps members, groups, and work crews to which they are assigned.
(4) Special effort shall be made to recruit a broad cross section of the youth of this state who meet selection criteria of the corps. Preference shall be given to youths residing in areas, both urban and rural, in which there exists unemployment substantially exceeding the state average unemployment rate. Members shall be unemployed at the time of enrollment.
(b) Corps members, leaders, and specialists shall be considered state employees solely for the purpose of including such corps members, leaders, and specialists within policies of liability insurance which may be provided to state employees under Code Section 45-9-1
. Other provisions of law relating to civil service, hours of work, rate of compensation, sick leave, state retirement plans, and vacation leave do not apply to corps members. Notwithstanding other laws to the contrary, corps members shall not be eligible for unemployment compensation by corps enrollment and service, and employer wage percentage deductions shall not be required as provided under Chapter 8 of Title 34, the "Employment Security Law." Corps members shall be eligible for workers' compensation. This subsection shall not apply to employees of the department.
(c) Initial enrollment in the corps shall be for a period not to exceed one year, which period may be extended for not more than one additional year by mutual agreement of the commissioner and the corps member for the purpose of promoting the member to a position of leader or specialist. Corps members shall be paid at least the minimum wage rate established by federal law. Merit and performance incentive pay raises may be awarded in the discretion of the commissioner.
(d) Corps members shall be selected based on their orientation towards public service, development of job skills and productive work habits, and character development. Special effort shall be made at the time of initial screening to explain rigorous productivity standards and special expectations and obligations of corps membership. An employment agreement shall be entered into by the corps member indicating the member's understanding of and willingness to abide by such standards.
(e) In the development of the corps program, consideration shall be given to providing corps members with a beneficial and meaningful work experience. Standards of productivity, behavior, and punctuality shall be developed and observed. Consideration shall be given to the development of a program that deserves the respect of the public, both in terms of service provided and personal development of corps members.
(f) Education shall be a mandatory but flexible component of the corps program, but classes shall be scheduled after corps working hours. For members participating in primary or secondary education, at least one day or eight hours per week shall be devoted to classroom instruction. Tuition or other fees for postsecondary classes for corps members shall be paid for by the corps. Participation in the education component shall be a primary factor in determining whether the opportunity for extended corps membership shall be offered. Instruction related to the specific role of the department and the various agencies involved in resource conservation shall also be offered either in a classroom setting or as is otherwise appropriate.
(g) The commissioner shall by contract or agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice and other state agencies serving youth provide for youth served by such department or agencies to participate independently in projects of the Georgia Youth Conservation Corps. When participating independently in projects of the corps, such youth served by the department or other agencies shall be compensated in the same manner and from the same funds as corps members.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer