Groundwork Richmond awarded $700K to train young people in urban forestry/green jobs

Groundwork Richmond awarded $700K to train youth in urban forestry/green jobs
Photo courtesy of Groundwork Richmond.

Young people ages 18-25 from Richmond’s most disadvantaged communities will be trained in urban forestry/green jobs thanks to a $700,000 CalFire grant recently awarded to Groundwork Richmond.

Three cohorts of 15 participants each will train for six months in both classroom and field training while receiving a monthly stipend. The goal will be to place participants in jobs at city, county parks and also at local businesses seeking highly skilled employees, according to Groundwork, an environmental nonprofit.

Groundwork said it will provide a workforce development program, training and certification through International Society of Arborists, Cal OSHA and other training modules.

The first cohort is scheduled to begin this Fall. Prospective applicants can fill out this interest form and someone will get back to you soon. They can also contact Groundwork Richmond Workforce Development Director Sarah Calderon at (510) 838-8397 or email her at [email protected].

The $700,000 grant was awarded by the California Department of Forestry and Fire (CalFIRE) Urban and Forestry Grant Program, which aims to expand and improve the management of trees and related vegetation in communities statewide.

Groundwork Richmond has planted more than 2,000 trees throughout Richmond and trained over 100 area youth via its urban forestry programs, using $4 million in funding from CalFire, the Coastal Conservancy and the City of Richmond. With more than $1 million in funding over three grant awards, the nonprofit has also deployed the Air Rangers program through the California Resources Board to help monitor air quality, train youth and disseminate air quality data to local citizens. The California Natural Resources Agency provided $900,000 for Groundwork Richmond’s “Treefense” project to plant trees that create a barrier to parkway air pollution in neighboring communities.