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Posted 3/30/2018

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By Amy Redmond & Tom Conning

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. – Amy Redmond spoke to student after student, planting the proverbial “seed” that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does more than engineering. 

It was apt that Redmond, a natural resource specialist for Portland District, was at the career fair planting seeds – she does that during her regular work, too. Or, she at least nurtures the environment – allowing those seeds to blossom.

She hopes that her presence, as well as the presence of Doug Garletts, District fish biologist, at Cottage Grove High School’s College and Career day on March 21, was serendipitous, and will allow those students to pursue a career with the Corps, where they will blossom into fish biologists, geologists, accountants and yes, even engineers.

"The most common comment I have heard is how surprised students and people are about how broad the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is as an agency with our various career paths," said Redmond. “It was especially significant to me to attend this career day, because I love having in-depth conversations with the students.”

Cottage Grove is a town southeast of Eugene, Oregon with about 10,000 residents, within 50 miles of six Corps dams and a lot of habitat that’s critical for the recovery of salmon, western pond turtles, butterflies and the Willamette Daisy, just to name a few. Because of this, Redmond plans to continue to promote career awareness in the future at Cottage Grove High School and other careers day events in the Valley.

Attending career fairs is one way the District reaches out to the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students. The District also holds an annual Engineering Day in February, has an active speakers bureau (you can learn more about that here) and educational opportunities at its dams.