For Baltimore Youth, Opportunity Goes Green - a story from our friends at SparkAction

 

Baltimore Center for Green Careers


By Alison Waldman, SparkAction
Click the link at the bottom to read the full story

At one point in his life, Jerrell Henry wasn’t sure what the future would hold.

Growing up in Baltimore, he didn’t have a college degree and saw no opportunity to get a steady, paying job. He was on the pathway to a series of jobs that barely paid the bills, and wouldn’t give him a career.

Then he heard about Baltimore Center for Green Careers (BCGC), which offers local, hands-on training in green jobs.

So he tried it. Jerrell is now fully employed with a local company only weeks after the program’s end. That’s no small feat in Baltimore, where unemployment is considerably higher than the national average, especially among young African American males.

“I loved the program,” he says. “They kept us on our toes. They helped us learn about speaking to employees, and gave us job readiness.”

BCGC is one of several Corps programs honored at The Corps Network’s 2013 Conference in Washington, DC, in February.

Corps are comprehensive youth development programs in cities and states that provide young people with job training, academic programming and leadership training through experience in service. A direct descendant of the Depression-era Civilian Conservation Corps, today’s Corps have been growing in recognition and enrollment as the economy leaves more young people out of work and unsure of the next step to a steady career.

This year’s conference covered the ways that Corps can improve programs to better serve opportunity youth—young people ages 16 to 24 who are not in school or connected to the workforce. It also looked at how federal funding streams like the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) can be used to bring effective Corps programs to scale, and celebrated the best programs and members through its 2013 Corpsmembers awards and Corps Projects of the Year.

Here's a closer look at a growing green-jobs success story in Baltimore.