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In March of 2014, DC Greenworks rolled out the District’s first ever green roof maintenance training program – Growing Futures. The 6-week program, funded by DC Water, works to address the high unemployment rates in Wards 6, 7 and 8 by training unemployed and underemployed young adults in all aspects of green roof maintenance techniques through a blend of in-class and in-the-field training. The technical skills learned include planting and weeding, irrigation system operation, pest and invasive species control, fertilization and plant identification. Growing Futures included OSHA Fall Protection and a session on Social Entrepeneurship at the University of the District of Columbia with Dr. Wayne Curtis.
Within thirty days of completion of the six-week course, all seven Growing Futures graduates were placed into jobs with green roof contractors, building contractors and non profit organizations engaged in the Low Impact Development/Green Infrastructure sector.
Key partnerships that made this program possible: AFL-CIO’s Building Futures, Anacostia Economic Development Corporation, Anacostia Watershed Society, Capitol Greenroofs, The Furbish Company, Sasha Bruce Youthwork, and of course, DC Water.