Eighty Detroit public high school students are participating in the Conservation Leadership Corps — a summer jobs program promoting environmental stewardship and leadership skills development while working in the local parks.

Created and sponsored by Johnson Controls Inc., the Student Conservation Association and The Greening of Detroit, the program is in its third year here.

“We’re proud to bring the CLC program back to Detroit,” said Charles A. Harvey, vice president of diversity and public affairs for Johnson Controls. “With the addition of a professional development day, it is our intent to show the students first-hand how they can turn their experience and enthusiasm for sustainability and environmental conservation into rewarding careers.”

The Detroit CLC program kicked off this week with the students gaining hands-on experience in environmental conservation. Over the course of the six-week program, the students will participate in a variety of projects, including native planting, new trail development and maintenance, outdoor classroom and native timber bench construction, removing invasive species and garden installation. Rouge Park, Belle Isle, Chalfonte Farmway and W.E.B. Du Bois High School are among the locations throughout the city where the student crews will work.

The students will also receive job readiness skills instruction, including help with resume writing, interview skills and personal finance management.

Corps members were selected from hundreds of candidates based on their application and ability to successfully complete a three-step, month-long tryout process. Student candidates were evaluated based on work ethic, leadership ability, civic engagement and commitment to the environment.

New this year, the students will be participating in a professional development day, hosted by Johnson Controls’ automotive interiors business in Plymouth. Johnson Controls employee volunteers will provide CLC students with a professional development learning experience, which includes career-focused information from each of the company’s core businesses — automotive experience, building efficiency and power solutions. Students will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable resources in the fields of automotive interior design and engineering, building efficiency and hybrid battery technology.

Also for the first time, Johnson Controls employees will have the opportunity to learn a bit from the students as they take a day to work in the field alongside the CLC teams.

Additional support for the program is being provided by: Amtrak; the City of Detroit Community Development Block Grant and Neighborhood Opportunity Fund programs; the City of Detroit Workforce Development Department; City Connect Detroit; the Skillman Foundation; the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth; Michigan Works Association; and SAP Americas.

More at www.johnsoncontrols.com, www.thesca.org or www.greeningofdetroit.com.

(c) WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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