The Greenagers Community Work Crew is a summer youth employment program emphasizing community service and environmental stewardship. In partnership with local land organizations, land trusts, and farms, Greenagers employs eight youth and one leader for part-time educational, skills building, and good ole’ fun, challenging work throughout the summer. Youth on the Community Crew work throughout July and August, Monday to Wednesday, 8:30 to 5, and receive $8.50-$9.50/hour. The application period for the 2013 season is now closed. Many thanks to all applicants! Hiring decisions will be made by June 1st.
All projects stress group cooperation; peer leadership; environmental stewardship; work-readiness and skills building; and healthy time outdoors. Again this year, Greenagers is including a financial literacy component: youth will receive training in basic banking, credit building, and resume writing. Projects also contain a daily educational discussion topic, often drawn from literature, related to the day’s work. We partner with schools to identify students who are most in need and could most benefit from this type of summer employment and work training.
CWI was started in 2010 with federal stimulus funds awarded through Berkshire Community Action Council. A total of nine youth participated in the program and contributed over 2000 hours to 14 community organizations. Our crew resurfaced the entire River Walk, finished the Fountain Pond Trail behind the Community Center, harvested carrots and onions at Indian Line Farm, and pulled countless weeds and invasive species. Youth gained experience in all aspects of trail building including rock work and the use of a wide range of trail tools. They gained agricultural and horticultural skills at the farms and Project Native. In their responses to our survey, youth reported gaining team-building skills, knowledge of workplace expectations and policies, and the enjoyment of meeting new people in their community.
Due to the success of the 2010 pilot program and the enthusiastic response from youth, host sites, and community, we doubled this program for 2011 and 2012 (see the Greenagers Appalachian Trail Crew).