Conservation Leadership Corps brings Baltimore communities and teens together through parks work program

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Johnson Controls partners with the Student Conservation Association and Civic Works on unique summer jobs program

BALTIMORE, July 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- This summer, 33 Baltimore-area high school students will participate in a unique employment experience through the Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC), a summer jobs program created and sponsored by Johnson Controls in partnership with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and Civic Works.

In its seventh year in Baltimore, the CLC provides students with training to build leadership and professional development skills, a hands-on conservation experience and a personal sense of stewardship in completing environmental projects throughout the city.

This year, local fundraising and a grant from Northrop Grumman to Civic Works have enabled the CLC to add three additional participants to experience the program. These funds will also support an overnight camping trip for all CLC members, and for five seasoned participants to extend their work within the program for two more weeks.

"Each year our Conservation Leadership Corps provides new and interesting opportunities in the framework of environmental stewardship that expand participants' skills personally and professionally," said Jennifer Mattes, director, global public affairs for Johnson Controls. "This program engages students in an experience that helps make them more competitive job candidates, while underscoring the importance of environmental conservation."

During the six-week program, one crew will conduct a special project at Herring Run Park, restoring various sections of Herring Run Park that border different neighborhoods to connect the park's many communities. This CLC crew will also build timber steps on a washed-out portion of the Tyndale trail and add a section of turnpike, as well as construct new trails and perform invasive species removal.

Two student crews will work at Leakin Park to reroute and construct a more sustainable grade for part of the Ridge Trail. The work will involve the slope and drainage on the remaining portions of the old trail. Students will also add stone or timber steps to some sections of the park, add one section of turnpike, and close old, unused trails. Teens will also cultivate vital professional development skills, including help with resume writing, interview skills and personal finance management.

"It is important to keep high school youth engaged in meaningful activity over the summer. Only with the support of Johnson Controls and SCA are we able to offer such a beneficial program that involves job training, education and a spirit of service, while accomplishing so much for our parks here in Baltimore," said Earl Millett, chief operating officer, Civic Works. "The partnership between our organizations has enabled us to reach so many students that would not have had any opportunities otherwise. We look forward to continuing to grow this program until everyone who wants to participate has access to it."

On August 2, the students will participate in a professional development day – hosted by Johnson Controls at the company's Sparks, Md. location – where they will learn the importance of sustainability, energy efficiency, and expectations of today and tomorrow's leaders. CLC members will engage in career-focused presentations and hands-on workshops led by company experts.

The CLC participants were selected from more than 138 applicants based on their successful completion of a two-month process. Student candidates were assessed on leadership, work ethic, civic engagement, and interest and commitment to the environment. Two students shared their thoughts about the program:

"The Baltimore CLC is an important option for me over the summer so that I can have more job experience. After this summer I will have a lot of CLC experience to put on my resume. I will also have a lot of fun working outside, getting to know other students and adventures during the CLC." – Kwamel Couther, second-year Baltimore CLC crew member 

"Baltimore CLC is important because it teaches valuable lessons on why the earth is important and why we need to keep taking care of it. It also shows people that hard work really does pay off." – Malik Moore, third-year Baltimore CLC crew member

Additionally, the SCA, Civic Works and Johnson Controls are working in partnership with Blue Water Baltimore, the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, Clyburn Arboretum and the Aquaponics Project, Real Food Farm, Marshy Point Nature Center, the Downtown Sailing Center, and the SCA's own Urban Tree House initiative to offer further educational opportunities.

The program will culminate in a graduation ceremony on August 16, where the CLC students, crew leaders and community partners will present awards to the CLC teams.

Support for the program is also being provided by the David and Barbara B. Hirschhorn Foundation, Mountain Club of Maryland, Friends of Herring Run Park, and PNC Bank Harborside.

Established in Baltimore in 2007, Johnson Controls also sponsors the CLC in Milwaukee and Detroit, along with similar programs in China, Mexico, England, Germany, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

About Johnson Controls:

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 168,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful.  In 2013, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #14 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit

About the Student Conservation Association: 

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the only national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA's hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship and save the planet. SCA is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh. PA, and Seattle, WA. For further information, visit

About Civic Works

Civic Works, Baltimore's urban service corps and an AmeriCorps program, was founded in 1993 with a mission of strengthening Baltimore's communities through education, skills development, and community service. Since its inception, Civic Works has trained and assisted more than 3,600 Baltimore area participants in performing community service projects, developing job readiness and life skills, and finding employment. Every year, approximately 200 AmeriCorps members serve on one of Civic Works' teams tutoring and mentoring children, building community parks and gardens, making energy efficiency improvements, making home repairs for older adults, and growing food for low-income communities. Civic Works also trains 100 low-income Baltimore residents for careers in healthcare, environmental remediation, and weatherization.

Editor's Note: To obtain images of the Baltimore CLC program, please contact Amanda Holloway at or 414-459-3942.


Fraser Engerman


Amanda Holloway


SOURCE Johnson Controls, Inc.

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