Our Google Hangout with the Student Conservation Association and the Peace Corps was a Success!

Yesterday we were thrilled to participate in our first Google Hangout with our partners at SCA and the Peace Corps.

If you weren't able to join us live, you are in luck! You can watch the recorded program via Youtube.

Mary Ellen Ardouny, our Interim CEO, joined Bob Coates, Senior Vice President for Programs at SCA, and Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Acting Director for the Peace Corps,  along with several other guests to discuss service opportunities both in the U.S. and abroad. It's highly recommended to watch the segments toward the end with Kaylee Poleschook of Mile High Youth Corps and Louise Liller, an alumnae of many Corps programs and SCA. They are also both Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and speak eloquently about service and the role it can play in your life.

Among many memorable things said, Louise Liller said that "I can trace back almost every major career move that I've made in my life, I can trace back to that one year that I spent working in an AmeriCorps program, and AmeriCorps program that's part of The Corps Network... It was an important step in my life and my future."

Mary Ellen Ardouny Named President and CEO of The Corps Network

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Mary Ellen Ardouny, a long-time champion for youth, has been named President and CEO of The Corps Network, the national association of Service and Conservation Corps.

The Corps Network Praises White House Announcement of Federal and Private Sector Commitments to Provide Employment Opportunities for Nearly 180,000 Youth

 

This morning The White House released a press release describing the creation of the Summer Jobs+ initiative, a series of commitments aimed to bolster pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth following the failure of such efforts to pass as part of the Americans Jobs Act proposed by President Obama last year. Rob Spath, Interim CEO of The Corps Network released the following statement:

"The Corps Network is very excited to see the White House and President Obama solidly engaged to increase youth employment and even more excited about the emphasis being placed on full-time job opportunities for disconnected youth. The President’s quote “we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job” could not be more in line with our business. This bold leadership is just what we were hoping to see and The Corps Network will make every effort to capitalize on this opportunity including being actively involved with the White House Council for Community Solutions and reaching out to the agencies and businesses who have been identified as willing to make significant commitments." 

Below you can find the official White House release about Summer Jobs+ as reprinted from www.whitehouse.gov

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release
January 05, 2012
 

We Can't Wait: The White House Announces Federal and Private Sector Commitments to Provide Employment Opportunities for Nearly 180,000 Youth

 

Today, the White House announced Summer Jobs+, a new call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for low-income and disconnected youth in the summer of 2012. The President proposed $1.5 billion for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24 in the American Jobs Act as part of the Pathways Back to Work fund. When Congress failed to act, the Federal government and private sector came together to commit to creating nearly 180,000 employment opportunities for low-income youth in the summer of 2012, with a goal of reaching 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer, at least 100,000 of which will be placements in paid jobs and internships. Today’s announcement is the latest in a series of executive actions the Obama Administration is taking to strengthen the economy and move the country forward because we can’t wait for Congress to act.  

 “America’s young people face record unemployment, and we need to do everything we can to make sure they’ve got the opportunity to earn the skills and a work ethic that come with a job.  It’s important for their future, and for America’s.  That’s why I proposed a summer jobs program for youth in the American Jobs Act – a plan that Congress failed to pass.  America’s youth can’t wait for Congress to act.  This is an all-hands-on-deck moment.  That’s why today, we’re launching Summer Jobs+, a joint initiative that challenges business leaders and communities to join my Administration in providing hundreds of thousands of summer jobs for America’s youth,” said President Obama.

“While young people who are currently disconnected from school or work are not contributing to our economy, we see these young people as ‘Opportunity Youth’ – because of the untapped potential they bring to the Nation.  Today, the White House challenged all sectors to go all-in and work together in creating pathways to youth employment.  Summer jobs are an important step – and to stay on the path to success, Opportunity Youth need social supports and access to relevant education, mentoring and training.  This spring, the White House Council for Community Solutions will participate in community discussions nationwide to learn from best efforts by youth, families, government, business, educators, and nonprofits to connect young people to meaningful career opportunities,” said Patty Stonesifer,Chair of the White House Council for Community Solutions (WHCCS).

The Administration also announced its intention to launch, within 60 days, the Summer Jobs+ Bank, a one-stop search tool for youth to access postings for any participating employers seeking to reach them where they are online. The search tool builds upon an open standard, the JobPosting schema endorsed by schema.org in November, 2011 in support of the Veterans Jobs Bank,and will include technical and promotional support by Google, Internships.com, AfterCollege, LinkedIn and Facebook. Today the Corporation for National and Community Service released a new toolkit created in collaboration with the WHCCS and employers to support businesses and communities in their efforts to help young people become productive citizens and connect to greater opportunities, both of which are critical for the long-term strength and competiveness of the Nation.

Today’s announcements build on previous commitments from the Obama Administration to support summer youth employment. In 2009 and 2010, communities across the country used Recovery Act funds to directly support summer work opportunities for over 367,000 young people. In the summer of 2011, the Department of Labor brought together private sector commitments to employ over 80,000 youth.

A new analysis released today by the WHCCS showed that in 2011 alone, taxpayers shouldered more than $93 billion in direct costs and lost tax revenue to support young adults disconnected from school and work. Over the lifetime of these young people, taxpayers will assume a $1.6 trillion burden to meet the increased needs and lost revenue from this group. Read the full analysis here.  

Businesses, non-profits and government can accept the President’s call-to-action by directly hiring youth as well as providing corporate mentorship experiences, internship, and other opportunities that connect young people to jobs. The three key ways organizations can engage are:

  • Learn and Earn: Provide youth jobs for the summer of 2012 in the form of paid internships and/or permanent positions that provide on-the-job training. Of the roughly 180,000 job commitments announced today more than 70,000 are Learn and Earn commitments
  • Life Skills:Provide youth work-related soft skills, such as communication, time management and teamwork, through coursework and/or experience.  This includes resume writing or interview workshops and mentorship programs.
  • Work Skills:Provide youth insight into the world of work to prepare for employment.  This includes job shadow days and internships. More information about this initiative can be found at dol.gov/summerjobs

As the nation continues to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression, American youth are struggling to get the work experience they need for jobs of the future. According to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (Current Population Survey):

  • 48.8 percent of youth between the ages of 16-24 were employed in July, the month when youth employment usually peaks. This is significantly lower than the 59.2 percent of youth who were employed five years ago and 63.3 percent of youth who were employed 10 years ago. 
  • Minority youth had an especially difficult time finding employment this past summer. Only 34.6 percent of African American youth and 42.9 percent of Hispanic youth had a job this past July.

In addition to the organizations making commitments for the summer of 2012, the Department of Labor will honor UPS, We Are Golf, Wells Fargo, and Jamba Juice for their strong participation in their 2011 summer jobs effort and the Corporation for National and Community Service will honor Bank of America, State Street, Viacom, Deloitte, and JP Morgan for their leadership in corporate mentoring over the past year.

Commitments Announced Include:

The American Association of People with Disabilities(AAPD) is committed to improving employment outcomes for the many people with disabilities who are ready, willing, and able to work.  The AAPD Summer Internship Program will provide 30 young people with disabilities the opportunity to engage in ten weeks of public service through paid internships on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, nonprofits, and for-profit businesses. 

AT&Tis committed to providing nearly 350 summer jobs in 2012 through a variety of summer job initiatives.  These opportunities help students, from high school to recent college graduates, develop skills and gain insight while preparing them to more successfully enter the job market.  Examples of AT&T summer opportunities for college students include leadership development internships on the fields on finance, retail, IT and engineering, as well as participation in college internship initiatives with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Dr. Emmett J. Conrad Leadership Program.  In addition to these unique opportunities, AT&T will also provide high school students the opportunity to experience the world of work through the Mayor’s Interns Fellows Program in Newark, NJ.  Also in 2012, AT&T will reach their initial goal of providing 100,000 high school students the opportunity to learn more about career options and what it takes to be successful in today’s workforce through the AT&T/JA Worldwide Job Shadow Initiative.

Bank of America, as part of its broader three-year $50 million goal to support education and workforce development opportunities for underserved populations, will continue to invest significantly in youth and young adults in 2012, including 1,500 paid internships  at the company and local nonprofits as well as job placement programs, in conjunction with more than 80,000 hours from employee volunteers. Recognizing the value of mentoring to help make opportunities possible for young people, Bank of America served as the primary sponsor of the National Mentoring Partnership’s 2011 National Mentoring Summit, at which the Corporate Mentoring Challenge was launched.  In 2011, Bank of America invested more than $15 million, and its employees volunteered more than 75,000 hours to help youth and young adults attain life and work skills to propel them towards long-term success.

Baxter International Inc.pledges to support Summer Jobs+ by expanding their education initiative, Science@Work.  As an extension of Science@Work – a multiyear commitment to support teacher training and student development in healthcare and biotechnology through a partnership with Chicago Public Schools – Baxter will reach 300-500 students. These students will participate in a variety of programs: the Career Training Program, in which Baxter professionals will assist students with career planning, soft skill development and interviewing skills; the 2012 Summer Job Shadowing program, in which students will participate in a unique shadowing experience with young Baxter professionals; and through Science @Work Community of Support, in which students will participate in an on-going relationship management program that provides counsel and professional support during college careers.

Bender Consulting Services, Inc.is committed to investing in youth who are living with disabilities, to support the development of life and work skills required by private and public sector employers.  Partnering with local high-schools in Pittsburgh, PA and Newark, DE, Bender Consulting, through the year-long Bender Leadership Academy Program will train 60 high-school students with disabilities, many who are low-income, about how to be successful in the world of work.   Four students who complete this program will work on a short-term paid summer internship in Bender Consulting’s offices in Pittsburgh, PA.  Bender Consulting will also provide two to four, 12 week summer HR internships to low income youth, including youth with disabilities.

The Camber Corporation provides young people with real-life work experience, opportunities to enhance their professional skillsets, and mentorship from their qualified employees during paid internships. In 2011, 25% of their graduated interns were hired as full-time Camber employees to serve in the areas of accounting, engineering, and human resources. In 2012, Camber plans to offer 8 internship opportunities.

CenturyLinkhas had summer internship programs for more than 25 years and looks forward to participating in Summer Jobs+ in 2012.  CenturyLink believe that one of its strengths is the diversity of its people, and they are committed to fostering diversity among the 50 summer jobs they will hire this year. 

The Corporation for National and Community Service(CNCS) has made a commitment to provide approximately 4,000 disadvantaged youth with national service opportunities through AmeriCorps programs operating in the summer of 2012. The AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associate Program, funded in part through private sector commitments, will place youth in communities across the country to address poverty and hunger.  In addition, AmeriCorps State and National programs will engage youth in education and conservation projects, and the AmeriCorps NCCC Summer of Service program is designed to introduce teenagers, especially those from disadvantaged circumstances, to national service and to foster in them such values as teamwork, responsibility, and the ethic of serving one’s community. These stipended service opportunities train youth in the life and work skills, such as teamwork, problem solving, and leadership, that are critical for success in the labor market, while engaging in activities that tackle tough societal challenges.

CVS Caremarkis committing to hire over 20,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 in 2012. Many of the new employees will occupy part-time and full-time positions such as pharmacy service associates, technicians, cashiers and interns in a variety of corporate functions.

Deloitte helps American high school students prepare for college and careers through its Their Future Is Our Future program.  As part of this program, 500,000 students have experienced the Life Inc. career exploration curriculum and Deloitte is committed to serve tens of thousands of students in 2012.  Through a series of lessons, self-discovery techniques, and virtual role models tailored for youth in middle and high school, Life, Inc. introduces students to various career possibilities and helps them determine what kind of educational experiences they will need in order to pursue them.   The program includes a website, career guide, teacher’s guide and student journal, which features seven lessons that are delivered by teachers in schools and after school youth programs.  Additionally, through deep relationships with national nonprofits that lead on education including MENTOR, United Way, College Summit and City Year, Deloitte contributes cash, pro bono service and the time of one-on-one mentors to help young people pursue the education and skills they need to succeed in the 21st century. 

The Department of Agriculture has made a commitment to provide approximately 7,100 youth with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience during the summer of 2012 by working with various USDA Mission Areas and Agencies throughout the country.  The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sounds public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.  USDA is committed to forming a pipeline of talented youth who will be our future leaders by giving them the opportunity for hands-on work experience in a variety of science, technology, engineering, math, administrative, management, agribusiness and industry positions.

The Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) will commit to supporting 324 summer jobs for low-income youth in 2012. HHS offices will be supporting paid summer jobs as well as other employment enhancement opportunities.  The Office of Human Resources’ Strategic Programs Division (SPD) will host at least two classes in the “Life Skills” pathway to support 120 youth.  These classes will have up to 50 participants each and will focus on work-related soft skills, such as communication, time management, and teamwork.  Additionally, SPD will allow for 20 students to participate in the “Work Skills” pathway.  These 20 students will shadow SPD employees for the day to offer insight into the federal workplace and to prepare them for employment.

The Department of the Interior has committed to providing approximately 12,000 young Americans with work opportunities in the summer of 2012 on public lands, tribal lands, national parks, wildlife refuges, and environmental restoration projects nationwide. Interior has increased the number of summer job opportunities it offers for young people under the Obama administration by 30 percent – helping more people from all walks of life to enjoy the great outdoors, and to pursue work opportunities and careers in the stewardship of America’s natural, cultural, and historic resources as part of the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative.

The DirectEmployers Associationis a nonprofit HR consortium of leading global employers formed to improve labor market efficiency through the sharing of best practices, research and the development of technology.  They are committed to hiring 5 youths this summer in the Indianapolis area to provide opportunities to learn the skills needed to be successful in the workforce as well as to encourage and motivate them to continue with their education.

Discovery Communicationsprovides multiple avenues for young people to discover a summer job and a lasting career. Through the Discover Your Skills campaign youth can learn about exciting career opportunities in skilled trades and critical growth areas like manufacturing, health care, energy, technology, construction and other industries.  A partnership with Montgomery College provides community college students with the skills they need to take advantage of available job opportunities.  In addition, Discovery’s robust internship program will provide nearly 300 college students career opportunities in a variety of fields in 2012.

Easter Sealswill be working to create summer opportunities for three young people with disabilities and will be disseminating information about the Summer Jobs+ initiative throughout their nationwide network of affiliates.  These positions will be in the "learn and earn" category of the initiative. While working for Easter Seals, young people will have the opportunity to learn various aspects of nonprofit management including marketing and corporate relations, public policy, program management, development and more. 

Expeditors, through its Opportunity Knocks program, recruits and supports disconnected youth so they can get training in a professional environment that can be leveraged for future success.  Since starting the program in 2008, Expeditors has helped 25 disconnected youth in six offices throughout the United States and is committed to adding 75 positions in another twenty offices in 2012 to bring the total participation to 100 youth.  

Gap Inc.is supporting 80,000 youth in 2012 through a variety of programs, which include connecting youth to employment through the development of relevant life skills and work ready skills, as well as providing on-the-job training through learn and earn experiences.

General Dynamics C4 Systemsis committed to hiring 40 young people during the summer of 2012 and is partnering with Sentinels of Freedom, Wounded Warriors, Diversity Careers, SWE, SHPE, NSBE and WOC to support hiring needs nationwide.

Goodwill Industries Internationalis proud to be one of the first organizations to support the Summer Jobs+ program. Through Goodwill’s unique social enterprise business model, it creates employment and job training. This year, the organization will expand services for youth at the beginning their careers. Goodwill is committed to hiring 1,200 youth ages 16 to 24, provide more than 3,200 youth with life skills services and over 2,300 with work skills services.  Almost 2,000 youth will be engaged in learn and earn services.  Thousands more youth will be provided virtual career mentoring and exploration services.

H-E-Bhas committed to expand their summer jobs program by 19 percent.  In the summer of 2012, 5,171 16-24 year olds will be hired to work at H-E-B.

J.B. Hunt Transportis focused on providing opportunities for young people to experience a professional working environment, particularly those in the Hispanic community in Arkansas. Through a partnership with ALPFA, the company reaches out to local high school students and helps raise awareness of opportunities in business, and provides mentors for college students. For 2012, J.B. Hunt is increasing the number of summer positions at headquarters to 20, and expanding college internships at our field locations throughout the United States.

Jamba Juicehas made a significant commitment to training and hiring young people and will pledge to hire at least 2,500 youth in the summer of 2012. Jamba Juice has a successful summer in 2011 when the company hired nearly 2,700 youth for summer work — 200 more than their pledge made as part of  the "Summer Jobs USA: Make a Commitment" initiative. Additionally, Jamba Juice also recently launched a new internship program for Job Corps students.

JPMorgan Chase has been a leader in supporting “Learn and Earn” and “career and skill development” programs in cities all across the country for decades.  During the 2011 Corporate Mentoring Challenge, JPMorgan Chase was inspired to step up in a leadership role – by funding and launching the Illinois Mentoring Partnership, introducing other potential funders and connecting non-profit organizations, who deliver the programs.  In Chicago, JPMorgan Chase also has supported, since its creation 20 years ago, After School Matters, a program that helps teens discover and nurture their talents and aspirations for future successes. The bank’s support in 2012 will provide 1,300 teens with hands-on, project-based programs to learn about rewarding careers and to help develop marketable job skills.

LinkedInhas committed to offer 200 internships in the summer of 2012. Additionally, LinkedIn is committed to adopting the JobPosting schema and letting any company post their summer internship jobs (or entry level jobs) on the LinkedIn website at no cost.

ManpowerGroupis proud to support summer jobs through a direct commitment of 20 jobs at our global headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and at Manpower branch offices across the nation. Through its work with local Workforce Investment Boards and One-Stop Career Centers, Manpower supports employment opportunities for thousands of people touched by the public workforce system.

Operation HOPE, as part of the Gallup-HOPE Index Cities Initiative, commits to secure 20 businesses and place 500 youth through youth business internships, mentorships, shadow days or actual small business or entrepreneurship start-ups.  Through the Gallup-HOPE Index Cities initiative, Operation HOPE, in partnership with Gallup intend to create a new youth entrepreneurial and business class in America, along with a new culture of progressive business mentoring by Corporate America.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) maintains a strong focus on providing learning and work opportunities for youth in the United States.  Through its host of early-identification programs and a robust internship program designed for undergraduate students, PwC seeks to provide students the learning, coaching, and training opportunities and professional relationships they need to develop professionally and personally, while also learning about unique opportunities in a career in professional services.  For the summer of 2012, PwC is committed to hiring 1,500 youth across the country.

The SI Organization will hire more than 100 young people in 2012 for full-time entry-level and internship/co-op positions focused on engineering and integration services in the U.S. Intelligence Community, Department of Defense and other agencies.

Starbucks Coffee Companyis supporting more than 25,000 youth this summer through a variety of programs. The company will work with local nonprofits and others to engage 20,000 young people in life skills and job readiness development.  This commitment is in alignment with our Youth Action Grants programs, supporting young people to address critical issues in their communities.  Starbucks supports nonprofit organizations to give young people the skills and resources to be catalysts for change through community service.  One example of an organization Starbucks supports is Generation On in multiple cities across the US; this is a program of Hands On Network. Starbucks plans to work closely with its grant recipients to maximize the life skills training and service opportunities and to increase their outreach to underserved youth. The company will also provide hands-on and learn and earn experiences for 5,000 young people working at Starbucks.

State Street Corporationis committed to providing workforce development and education opportunities to approximately 1,000 youth each summer in cities including Boston, New York, Kansas City, and Sacramento among others.  The company supports a continuum of meaningful job opportunities starting with funding subsidized wage placements in community-based organizations for first-time job experiences, as well as placements in professional positions at State Street for those who have developed basic employability skills and are ready for more responsibility. 

Syracuse Universitywill provide 200 jobs to college-aged students working in the Say Yes to Education Syracuse’s Summer Camp for academic enrichment and youth leadership.  Syracuse University will also provide 50 positions to 16-21 year olds in a SU partnership with CNY Works on a Summer Youth Initiative.  

The McGraw-Hill Companies is committed to growing its 12-week paid summer internship program which employs youth across all of their businesses to 260 summer internships for 2012.  In 2011, McGraw-Hill employed over 250 Summer Interns and roughly 10% of last year’s interns were offered full-time positions after graduation.   

UPS, the global leader in logistics, is continuing its commitment to summer jobs and will offer 1,500 employment opportunities to youth across the country in 2012.  Most opportunities qualify for employment benefits and UPS’ educational assistance program which can pay up to $3,000 a year for educational benefits. 

Viacom has committed to provide internship and mentorship programs to connect youth to employment opportunities.  Through their Summer Associates Program, VIACOM will provide 10 recent college graduates young people a 10 week paid training program in the summer 2012 fostering professional and personal development and unlocking the doors to valuable real-world experience.  Through their partnership with POSSE’s Career Program, Viacom will provide 30 college students high school students with a paid internship. In addition, mentoring initiatives such as Viacom’s national mentoring program Get Connected, created with the Get Schooled Foundation, will assist students through meaningful connections with adults with the ultimate goal of helping to keep them in school and realize their true potential.

WE ARE GOLF is a national not-for-profit organization formed to tell the story of the nearly 2 million hardworking men and women who make golf a great sport and whose livelihoods depend on it.  Golf courses across the country are building on their 2011 commitment of 2,700 summer jobs and WE ARE GOLF is bringing far more golf courses to this initiative in 2012 to offer tens of thousands more jobs to young people.

Wells Fargo has made an ongoing and significant commitment to its communities, including opportunities for summertime work, networking and training for young people. In the summer of 2012, Wells Fargo will support 1,000 employment opportunities for youth.

Along with significant commitments from across the business sector, national organizations are answering the President’s challenge. United Way Worldwide will work with local chapters in approximately 30 cities and regions to host a series of Community Conversations, where local leaders will join with ordinary citizens to map out what they can do to pull together the support needed to create opportunity and pathways for young adults.

### 

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 158 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 46 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 33,000 young men and women annually in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 265,000 community volunteers each year. For more information visit www.corpsnetwork.org

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in New York City


 

NEW YORK – October 3, 2011 – Today, Mr. Peanut arrives in the Big Apple in his biodiesel Nutmobile to unveil a new urban park – a Planters Grove – on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. Mr. Peanut is joined by local youth service corps members, residents of the New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Lillian Wald Houses and Kraft employees for a day of community planting to add the finishing touches to the park. This is the third Planters Grove built in the U.S. this year as part of the Planters "Naturally Remarkable" program. Planters Groves were opened earlier this year in New Orleans and Washington, D.C.

Planters will be joined by U.S. Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, New York City Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, New York State Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, New York State Senator Daniel Squadron, NYCHA Chairman John Rhea and NYCHA Commissioner Margarita López to officially open New York City’s Planters Grove.

Located at Avenue D between 4th and 5th Streets, the Planters Grove provides NYCHA residents and families with more than 8,000 square feet of usable green space – helping to expand access to parkland in a neighborhood cited by New Yorkers for Parks as lacking adequate open space. Additionally, this Planters Grove furthers New York City’s PlaNYC goal of creating more accessible open space citywide and ensuring every New Yorker lives within a 10-minute walk from a park.

“Planters Groves reflect the values rooted in Planters heritage - sustainability, healthy lifestyles and community," said Scott Marcus, Senior Brand Manager, Planters. "By bringing a Planters Grove to NYCHA’s Lillian Wald Houses, residents and families will experience the many environmental, health and quality of life benefits that parks can provide communities."

Planters Grove Design Highlights

Each Planters Grove was designed by Ken Smith, the New York City landscape architect acclaimed for the rooftop garden at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the City’s East River Waterfront Esplanade and 7 World Trade Center Plaza. The New York City Planters Grove includes:

  • A rainwater garden features a lumber boardwalk with an underground system that collects rain water to help irrigate the park’s vegetation and reduce stormwater overflow
  • A wood surround that defines the park’s peanut-shape and acts as a trellis structure for a variety of greenery
  • Native flowers and plants such as azaleas and a variety of ferns, which will attract several species of birds and butterflies year-round
  • Numerous benches dot the park to provide seating for seniors and families


The park was developed with the input of NYCHA residents. Over 80 cubic yards of concrete, brick and debris were removed to create a green, open space for the community to enjoy.

"At NYCHA, we believe in the transformative power of creating and caring for green spaces," said NYCHA Chairman John B. Rhea. "The New York City Planters Grove at Lillian Wald Houses is an example of how we can work together with our partners and the community to create greener NYCHA neighborhoods."

"Green spaces not only beautify neighborhoods, but they purify the air creating a healthier environment for us all," said NYCHA Commissioner and Environmental Coordinator Margarita López. "As part of its Green Agenda, NYCHA has been working with residents through its Gardening and Greening Program and Resident Green Committees to ensure a brighter greener tomorrow for our children."

The New York City Planters Grove was created in partnership with The Corps Network – the national organization promoting and advocating for Service and Conservation Corps across the U.S. Members of Green City Force, a New York City-based corps program providing NYCHA youth with green-collar job training, led the construction efforts and will help care for the park with NYCHA residents.

About Planters: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts, including Dry Roasted Peanuts nearly fifty years ago. This inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious plant-based snacks such as peanuts, cashews, almonds, pistachios and other nuts. Planters NUT•rition offers a distinctive line of nut mixes that focus on specific nutritional needs.

About Kraft Foods: Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE: KFT) is a global snacks powerhouse with an unrivaled portfolio of brands people love. Proudly marketing delicious biscuits, confectionery, beverages, cheese, grocery products and convenient meals in approximately 170 countries, Kraft Foods had 2010 revenue of $49.2 billion. Twelve of the company’s iconic brands – Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oreo, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Tang and Trident – generate revenue of more than $1 billion annually. On Aug. 4, 2011, Kraft Foods announced plans to divide and create two independent public companies: a high-growth global snacks business with estimated revenue of $32 billion and a high-margin North American grocery business with estimated revenue of $16 billion, based on 2010 financial results, adjusted for divestitures. The transaction will take at least 12 months to complete, during which time plans regarding the structure, management, governance and other matters will be announced. A leader in innovation, marketing, health & wellness and sustainability, Kraft Foods is a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Standard & Poor's 500, Dow Jones Sustainability Index and Ethibel Sustainability Index. Visit kraftfoodscompany.com and facebook.com/kraftfoodscorporate.

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 158 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 46 states and the District of Columbia, Corps annually enroll more than 33,000 young men and women in service every year. Corps annually mobilize approximately 265,000 community volunteers who in conjunction with Corps members generate 15.3 million hours of service every year. Today's Corps, inheritors of the legacy of FDR's Civilian Conservation Corps, enable Corps members to improve community and the environment through programs including Civic Justice Corps, Public Lands Corps, Clean Energy Service Corps, and Corps Respond. By serving their nation, Corps members gain abilities that last a lifetime, including work readiness, educational advancement, civic engagement, and the ability to make responsible choices.

About Green City Force: Green City Force engages NYCHA residents, aged 18-24, who hold a GED or high school diploma in intensive service, training and academics geared towards clean energy careers. Our Corps Members reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve community environmental health through painting rooftops white and growing organic food, while gaining marketable skills and earning money for college. Our ambition is that national service directed at reducing green-house gas emissions and improving the environment becomes an avenue to prosperity for a generation of urban young adults in New York City.

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in Historic Washington, DC Neighborhood


 

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in Historic Washington, D.C. Neighborhood

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, and Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, unveil the second of three planned urban parks known as Planters Groves in Lincoln Heights, a historic Northeast Washington D.C. neighborhood. The Corps Network’s local members, Washington Parks & People, Earth Conservation Corps, and the Student Conservation Association worked withPlanters and many other community partners to transform land into the peanut-shaped park. ECoRe, a provider of engineering services that emphasize sustainability and renewable energy, managed the build and helped coordinate the Volunteer Corps work on site.

The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove is located at 50th Street and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue, NE. U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (Washington, D.C.) and Mayor Vincent Gray will join other local dignitaries, community members, and Mr. Peanut to celebrate the new park with a day of volunteer planting. Planters envisioned its Groves as a means to transform underdeveloped and underutilized urban land into vibrant, green spaces. They are an important part of Planters 2011 “Naturally Remarkable” Tour, an effort to advance the brand’s values of healthy lifestyles and sustainability.

Sally Prouty, President and CEO of The Corps Network remarked, “The Planters Grove now takes its place as a nexus of neighborhood revitalization, community service and outdoor activity. Our work with Planters is proof that public-private partnerships can seed community transformation and growth.”

Designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith, Planters Groves are part urban revitalization, part urban art. Each Planters Grove features unique elements that promote sustainability and reflect the neighborhood’s unique culture and heritage. The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove includes:

• 39 newly-planted fruit and nut trees, in addition to 67 serviceberry trees,which expand Washington, D.C.’s tree canopy, as well as provide health and environmental benefits to local residents such as improved air quality and lower summer air temperature   

• A border of reclaimed porch columns frames the park’s unique peanut-shape and highlights the neighborhood’s “front porch” culture

• A rainwater garden collects storm water excess and helps decrease the amount of pollution reaching the adjacent stream

• Azaleas incorporated into the park’s design note the beginning of America’s urban environmental movement, which began when Lady Bird Johnson responded to the plea of local eight-year-old John Hatcher for azalea bushes for his housing development

The Washington, D.C. Planters Grove builds upon recent efforts by the D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation to redevelop the broader Marvin Gaye Park corridor into a hub of outdoor recreation, civic participation, and public-private partnership. Additionally, the Planters Grove complements the D.C. Department of Transportation’s sustainable streetscape improvement project currently underway. 

“The Planters Grove is a welcome addition to a location that has deep historical and cultural significance and fits in perfectly with the District’s goals of providing healthy lifestyle choices for residents of all ages for generations to come,” said Jesùs Aguirre, Director of the D.C. Department of Parks & Recreation.

Scott Marcus, a Senior Brand Manager for Planters said “Peanuts are truly a ‘naturally remarkable’ food. They have a rich American heritage and, in many ways, are both good for you and good for the earth. Planters is excited to work with the local D.C. community to create a natural space in our nation’s capital that celebrates the peanut and promotes healthy living and sustainability.” 

In 2011, the first Planters Grove opened in New Orleans. An additional Planters Grove will be created later this year in New York City.

To follow The Corps Network’s partnership with Planters and get updates on our work, you can “Like” The Corps Network on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCorpsNetwork and“Like” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpeanut.

To learn more about Corps in your state and ways to volunteer, visit www.corpsnetwork.org.     

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 158 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 48 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 33,000 young men and women annually in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 227,000 community volunteers each year. For more information contact Rob Spath at rspath@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org

About Planters: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts. This inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious plant-based snacks such as peanuts, cashews, almonds and other nuts. Planters NUT•rition offers a distinctive line of nut mixes that focus on specific nutritional needs. Planters almonds and pistachios are roasted with real herbs and spices, delivering extraordinary flavor. Planters Trail Mix blends roasted nuts, delicious fruit and other wholesome ingredients to help fuel an active lifestyle.

About Planters Sustainability: Planters has made considerable investments in greening their facilities through energy and water conservation, as well as waste reduction. As part of its brand citizenship, Planters has committed, in collaboration with The Corps Network, to developing green, natural spaces called Planters Groves across the U.S. The brand's commitment to nut farmers is extended through the African Cashew Alliance (ACA), an initiative to improve cashew production, sustainability practices and increase the cashew-related income of 150,000 cashew farmers by 2012.

About ECoRe: ECoRe is a provider of engineering consulting services, specializing in clean technology development, engineering and integration of renewable energy solutions, and developing sustainable communities. ECoRe focuses on addressing diverse energy-related needs by forming integrated management teams to develop energy solutions that foster sustainable communities and provide affordable, tailored solutions.  Their team of engineers and sustainability professionals bring sustainable solutions – both financially and environmentally – to the people and companies that have traditionally been underserved by the sustainability community. Learn more at www.ecoreventures.com.

About Parks & People: Washington Parks & People began 20 years ago with Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, receiving the National Park Service's highest organizational award for leading the transformation of the single most violent park in the capital region into one of its safest. We lead greening initiatives across the city -- massive land reclamation, native reforestation,  watershed restoration, public health and fitness programming, urban agriculture, and green job training -- to help revitalize once forgotten communities. Learn more at www.washingtonparks.net.

About Earth Conservation Corps: Earth Conservation Corps is a nonprofit youth development and environmental service organization located where the heavily polluted Anacostia River flows through our nation’s capitols most disadvantaged communities. Since 1989 we have been successfully reclaiming two of America’s most endangered resources — our youth and our environment. We use the challenge and promise of restoring the Anacostia River to engage unemployed community youth for a transformative volunteer year of environmental action and community service. Learn more at www.ecc1.org.

About The Student Conservation Association: The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is a national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with conservation service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA's hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop new generations of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship, and save the planet. SCA is a non-profit headquartered in Charlestown, NH and maintains regional offices in Boise, ID, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, Seattle, WA, and Washington, D.C. For more, logon at thesca.org.

 

 

 

Green For All and The Corps Network Collaborate in Creating Green Careers Pathways for Low-Income Youth

 

by Vien Truong, Senior Associate, Green For All & Sally Prouty, President and CEO, The Corps Network

Green For All (GFA) and The Corps Network (TCN) are proud to work together tackling one of our nation's most pressing problems: youth employment and career pathways. All too often, future jobs will be out of reach to our nation's youth, especially those in low-income communities and communities of color.

At the Clinton Global Initiative's CGI America meeting, both TCN and GFA will be promoting the role of green jobs in solving problems of pollution and poverty. During the conference, which takes place on June 29 - 30, TCN will be announcing the upcoming release of a new resource: A Green Career Pathways Framework: Postsecondary and Employment Success for Low-Income Disconnected Youth. Green for All, which was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, will also be attending the convening to discuss creating good, green jobs that have career pathways and pathways out of poverty for all communities.

TCN's seminal white paper shows the opportunities in the green economy and its potential to offer a pathway out of poverty for low-income young adults, many of whom have disconnected from school, are struggling to find a way into the economic mainstream, or both. This correlates with GFA's efforts to develop and grow career pathways and pathways out of poverty for low-income and disconnected youth through our Youth Employment and Leadership Ladders (YELL) Community of Practice, which is co-chaired by TCN and the Wangari Maathai Center for Sustainable Cities and Schools. Through the YELL working group, our organizations will develop and share resources that create and sustain effective youth workforce training programs; research and provide best practices and strategies for removing barriers to training and employment for youth; and share other resources towards helping prepare youth for, and connect youth to, green collar jobs.

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) convenes global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Since 2005, CGI Annual Meetings have brought together nearly 150 current and former heads of state, 18 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, along with heads of foundations, major philanthropists, directors of the most effective nongovernmental organizations, and prominent members of the media. These CGI members have made nearly 2,000 commitments, which have already improved the lives of 300 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued in excess of $63 billion. The CGI community also includes CGI University (CGI U), a forum to engage college students in global citizenship, MyCommitment.org, an online portal where anybody can make a Commitment to Action, and CGI Lead, which engages a select group of young CGI members for leadership development and collective commitment-making. CGI America is the newest addition to this community. For more information, visit http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org

 

The Corps Network and Planters Unveil New Park in New Orleans' Central City Neighborhood


 

Corpsmembers from Limitless Vistas, Inc. help plant the new park.

NEW ORLEANS—Today The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, and Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, unveil the first of four planned urban parks known as Planters Groves. The Corps Network’s local members, Limitless Vistas, Inc. and Louisiana Green Corps/Arc of Greater New Orleans worked with Planters and many other community partners to transform land into the peanut-shaped park. It was designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith. Located at 2047 Felicity Street in New Orleans’ historic Central City neighborhood, the unique public green space will open today at Noon CST. The opening will start with a traditional New Orleans’ second line, led by Mr. Peanut and his new biodiesel Planters Nutmobile.

Sally Prouty, President and CEO at The Corps Network, said that “The Corps Network thanks Planters, our Corps & Corpmembers, community partners, volunteers and the incredible people of Central City for helping us make this a reality.”

Over 150 local Corpsmembers and young community volunteers have been engaged in the creation of the park. So far they have helped to paint prominent park features, clean and sort bricks for pathways, and help plant many of the park’s diverse species. Limitless Vistas and the Louisiana Green Corps will lead the ongoing maintenance, programming, and seasonal planting of the park with additional community partners including New Orleans Neighborhood Development Collaborative, Central City Partnership and Faubourg Lafayette Neighborhood Association, BFA Environmental, Old City Building Center, and FutureProof.

“We’re proud to have worked with the wonderful people of Central City to plant some good in New Orleans,” said Jason Levine, senior director of marketing at Planters.  “These parks were inspired by the community of growers who have been our namesake - planters.”

Locally-sourced reclaimed materials have been used in the construction of the park. For example, reclaimed windows from homes destroyed in Hurricane Katrina form the park’s peanut-shaped window surround and have been painted in 5 colors that reflect the neighborhood’s character. 

Plants that are part of the local ecology have also been used in the park’s design. Sixteen native bald cypress trees will help give the park a pleasant atmosphere that reflect the South’s distinctive and storied wetland forests, while flowers like Swamp Lilies and White Prairie Clovers will add charm and diversity to the understory.

Additional eco-friendly features include a rain garden, a community gathering spot made with recycled pavement called the “Legume Plaza,” and Adirondack style chairs made from recycled materials. A solar lighting system and rainwater collection tank will be added as the park’s final touches are completed. Planters has also added playful touches to the park’s design, including a special Mr. Peanut bench.

“We were excited to play a part in creating this Planters Grove,” said Patrick Barnes, founder of Limitless Vistas, Inc. “This natural park will not only be a place for the community to enjoy shared experiences, but will also serve as a teaching tool about the environment and local agriculture.”

In 2011, additional Planters Groves will be created in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, and New York City.

To follow The Corps Network’s partnership with Planters and get updates on our work, you can “Like” The Corps Network on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TheCorpsNetwork and “Like” Mr. Peanut on Facebook at www.facebook.com/mrpeanut.

To learn more about Corps in your state and ways to volunteer, visit www.corpsnetwork.org.     

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 158 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 48 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 33,000 young men and women annually in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 227,000 community volunteers each year. For more information contact James Jones at jjones@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org

About Limitless Vistas, Inc.: Limitless Vistas, Inc. (LVI) is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in Louisiana, post Katrina.  It has as its vision to train and educate inner city youth to become stewards of their environment and to introduce real entry level career opportunities for these youth in environmental science and engineering. For more information, contact Matilda Tennessee at matennessee1@bellsouth.net or visit www.limitlessvistas.org 

About Louisiana Green Corps: The mission of the Louisiana Green Corps (LA Green Corps) is to provide green job skills training to unemployed, under-employed, court involved or otherwise disadvantaged residents through the completion of impactful environmental restoration and conservation projects. For more information, contact Vance Levesque at arccontroller@bellsouth.net or visit www.lagreencorps.org

The Corps Network and Planters to Collaborate

 

The Corps Network, the voice of the nation’s Service and Conservation Corps, andPlanters, America’s leading snack nut brand, are coming together to transform neglected land into natural spaces, in select communities across America. Ken Smith, the renowned landscape architect, is being tapped to design the spaces – with a whimsical touch befitting of the brand and its iconic character, Mr. Peanut.

Starting in 2011, The Corps Network and its member Corps will help Planters bring its “Naturally Remarkable” campaign to life by encouraging Americans to get their hands dirty, reconnect with the earth and experience real growth in their community. 

Increasingly, companies are working with nonprofits to address a variety of issues facing our communities. The Corps Network hopes their work with Planters will become a model for what can be accomplished when the private and public sector join together.

“We are very excited about working with Planters,” said Sally Prouty, President & CEO. “Our rich histories and commitment to sustainability brought us together, and it’s our mutual desire to make a difference in our communities that drives us forward.”

This is the first national public/private collaboration of this type for The Corps Network. “We are very committed to the work we and our member Corps do. Our first major collaboration of this scale had to celebrate conservation and service,” said Sally Prouty. “ Planters’ commitment to sustainability and its desire to bring people together in service fit with what The Corps Network is about.”

“We want to celebrate where we came from. Planters are the original entrepreneurs – scrappy and down to earth,” said Jason Levine, Senior Marketing Director at Planters. “We’re excited to work with The Corps Network, its member Corps and local community volunteers to create spaces where people can reconnect with the land, plant memories and grow a community.”

About The Corps Network: Established in 1985, The Corps Network is the voice of the nation's 143 Service and Conservation Corps. Currently operating in 47 states and the District of Columbia, The Corps Network enrolls more than 30,000 young men and women in service in addition to mobilizing approximately 227,000 community volunteers annually. For more information contact James Jones at jjones@corpsnetwork.org or visit www.corpsnetwork.org.

About Planters & Sustainability: Planters, America’s leading snack nut brand, has a long history of pioneering industry firsts and this inventiveness is delivered through a diverse portfolio of nutritious and delicious snacks.Planters is working with the National Peanut Board to recognize peanut farmers who are implementing sustainability practices and making positive social changes in their local communities. Planters is a founding member of the African Cashew Initiative, which aims to increase the cashew-related income of 150,000 cashew farmers over the next four years. Planters has also conserved 5.6 million pounds in packaging and shipping materials and its Suffolk, VA roasting facility has achieved a “zero waste to landfill” goal.

The Corps Network Participates Public Lands Summit

 



Photo of Glacier National Park 
via Flickr under a Creative Commons license

The Corps Network, along with member organizations Student Conservation Association, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps North Bay, Montana Conservation Corps, American Youth Works, and Southwest Conservation Corps, participated in a national summit with the Public Lands Service Coalition concerning the implementation of a 21st Century Conservation Corps. 

President Obama and Interior Secretary Salazar have pushed to include more youth in plans for our nation’s public lands, and this summit was a discussion between youth corps from across the country and the land management agencies that oversee the public lands. Agency staff from the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, Department of Agriculture, Department of Labor, and the Corporation for National and Community Service met with corps staff to plan how best to get our nation’s youth into the outdoors. 

For more information on the PLCS or the meeting, please contact
 Mary Ellen Ardouny at The Corps Network. 

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