Next Generation of Green Workforce is the 2nd episode in our new series, “Waterways to Airwaves”. What is the future of the green workforce? Are there paying jobs in this sector? Do the next generations want to do this type of work and why?

We spent time with Howard Eco Works and heard from their staff about the programs they offer and what makes them unique. We hear about the following:  

READY (Restoring the Environment and Developing Youth) a two-month summer program that provides conservation education, employment, and career development to young adults ages 16 to 25.

UpLift, a 6-7 month workforce development program that exposes individuals to the opportunities and career trajectories that are available in the green infrastructure (GI) industry. Not limited by age, UpLift educates, trains, and offers participants pathways to employment in permanent positions. Workforce development initiatives include preparing participants to enter the workforce through job readiness initiatives, job site visits with our industry partners, environmental and GI industry literacy, and tool safety training.

EcoAmbassadors are high school students who work with their local communities to address environmental concerns by implementing projects, organizing cleanups, and educating community members to promote sustainable change in Howard County. The program is funded by Live Green Howard through the plastic bag fee. 

SEEDS OF CHANGE, an environmental and workforce development program at the Howard County Department of Corrections. In 2016, EcoWorks established an on-site native plant nursery operation where inmates learn about nursery operation and plant propagation. The plants are used in EcoWorks’ environmental restoration projects around the County. The hands-on component is complemented by a sustainable landscaping curriculum. In 2018, 16 inmates graduated from the program with certificates. This low-cost, high return on investment program develops job skills and helps reduce recidivism.

All Music and Lyrics by Ilyana Kadushin and James Harrell.

Check out past episodes!