In January we had the opportunity to train new Roots of Success instructors working in three great programs: Green Workforce Academy in Portland, Growing Home in Chicago, and Five Keys Santa Rosa Jail Program. Below we describe each of these programs in more detail so you can learn about their good work.

Green Workforce Academy is a job-training program run by a collaborative of partners- Ecotrust, NAYA, SEI, Blueprint Foundation, Wisdom of the Elders and the Rebuilding Center in Portland, Oregon. They offer a 5 week, paid, pre-apprenticeship training. The program is for those who identify as black, indigenous and/or people of color, are 18-25 years old and have completed high school. Participants spend two days a week taking the Roots of Success environmental literacy classes and two days a week in the field, either working hands-on or touring potential employers. Upon graduation, participants are supported to access job opportunities in green industries.

Growing Home is USDA certified organic urban farm and transitional job-training program in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. Growing Home’s mission is to serve their community by expanding access to affordable, fresh, and high quality healthy produce grown on their urban farm and to serve individuals with barriers to employment whose goal is to enter the workforce. Growing Home provides a paid, 14-week job training program on their urban farm, training in produce sales at their farmers markets, paid classroom job readiness training, professional certifications, case management support, free legal services for individuals seeking to seal or expungement criminal records, and assistance with placement in a permanent job. In 2019, program participants secured permanent jobs at employers partners such as Gotham Greens, Windy City Harvest, Local Foods, Shake Shack, and Justice Grown. Growing Home also has a large Alumni community of over 500 individuals and are proud to have several Alumni on our permanent staff and Board of Directors.

Five Keys Schools and Programs is an alternative adult school working in jails and educational centers in 7 counties throughout Northern California, as well as jails in Southern California. Each week their teachers serve 1000’s of students through independent study and group classes that help incarcerated youth and adults achieve their educational goals of high school or GED completion.