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October 2014
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green job training

Daniel Paschall Photography

Several major cities, including Washington, D.C., are exploring how an urban green infrastructure can be an ecological resource that returns money to the city and provides jobs for residents. More studies are showing that cities with healthy environments also have healthy economies. Effective urban ecosystem management could create tens of thousands of jobs and save millions of dollars for urban communities around the country.

Green collar training not only provides much-needed expertise in urban landscape management, but also supplies a reliable, qualified labor force of employees to our city’s parks, landscapes, and gardens.

By teaching green skills through hands-on landscape and LID installation projects, it is easier (and more fun) to learn landscaping skills and best practices.  As an added benefit, the projects done during the program provide needed services and lasting beauty to the local sites we use for training.

 

In 2011, DC Greenworks partnered with Groundwork Anacostia DC, the Anacostia Watershed Society, and the Potomac Job Corp Center in a pilot green jobs training program that spanned from February to June.  The program introduced 40 PJCC students to green infrastructure techniques that mitigate the effect of stormwater runoff, including green roofs, rain barrels, rain gardens and pervious pavers.  Students also learned about the overall heath and conditions of our local waterways.

We have previously partnered with the Earth Conservation Corps, the D.C. Department of Parks and RecreationCovenant House WashingtonThe Coalition for the Homeless, Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative,The Mayor’s Green Summer Job Corp., StriveDC, Groundwork Anacostia DC and other great organizations to put great people in great jobs.

In March of 2014, DC Greenworks rolled out the District’s first ever greenroof maintenance training program – Growing Futures.  The 6-week program – funded by DC Water –  will work to address the high unemployment rates in Wards 6,7 and 8 by training 10 underserved residents in all aspects of greenroof maintenance techniques through a blend of in-class and on-site training.  Upon completion of the 6-week course, DC Greenworks will work to place trainees into jobs with local green roof contractors, landscapers and outfits working in the Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure sector.   Key partnerships that helped in making this program a possibility are Sasha Bruce Youthwork, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, The Furbish Company, Anacostia Watershed Society,  AFL-CIO Building Futures and of course, DC Water.

Michael Furbish delivers maintenance overview to Growing Futures Trainees.

Michael Furbish delivers maintenance overview to Growing Futures Trainees.

Leon Green - Growing Futures Program 2014

Leon Green – Growing Futures Program 2014