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Franklin County Commissioners Fund GreenCorps Jobs Program

Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Contact: Hanna Greer, 525-5848
Brittany A. Thompson, 525-3354

On Tuesday, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved $50,000 in funding for a new GreenCorps jobs program for local Franklin County youth.

The Franklin County Economic Development & Planning Department, in partnership with the Franklin Park Conservatory and Central Ohio Workforce Investment Corporation (COWIC) will partner to initiate the program to teach horticulture and job skills to 10 low income adults, ages 18-21 who are currently participating in the Workforce Investment Act Program.

Franklin Park Conservatory will oversee the training and COWIC will provide recruitment and referral services, pay the student’s hourly minimum wage and provide supportive services.

The program will last approximately 40 weeks and consist of both classroom instruction and hands on work experience. Upon successful completion of the program, Franklin Park Conservatory will help place the students in horticultural-related jobs including landscaping, commercial pesticide application, park maintenance, irrigation and greenhouse training and jobs programs.

“Franklin County has a growing demand for trained workers to implement the current lifestyle shift to greener and cleaner communities and businesses. GreenCorps will equip young workers with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today’s economy,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown.

“Since passing our Sustainability Resolution in 2006, the Green Corps concept has been an idea we have sought to implement. I compliment Director James Schimmer for forging this collaboration in creating the Green Corps with the Franklin Park Conservatory and COWIC. These efforts will ensure that Franklin County youth will get a good introduction to the food and agriculture sectors in these green jobs. Those industries are our largest employers at the local, state, and national levels and they provide good jobs in Franklin County,” said Commissioner Paula Brooks.

“GreenCorps is not only an investment in our area workers but it’s an investment in the future of Franklin County neighborhoods. Upon completion of the program, these students will be at the forefront of maintaining the landscape of Franklin County, as well as playing a role in other environmentally friendly projects in our area,” said Commissioner John O’Grady.

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