Earn and Learn model
Youth work in crews supervised by one staff person to complete projects that benefit the surrounding community. They alternate weeks of work and weeks of school. If they have a high school diploma they can work full time.
Earning much needed income, youth are paid an hourly wage (average is $16.33 per hour) for an average take-home pay of $1,206 per month for half-time work.
Youth can earn the following job-related certifications: CPR/First Aid; OSHA-10 (safety training); chainsaw operation; forklift operation; assistance with obtaining a Class C driver's license, to drive a truck; and DTSC E-waste management.
The Natural Resources Management Department contracts with local agencies to complete environmental projects that improve local parks, help to prevent fires, and maintain our waterways.
Youth learn technical and soft skills such as:
safe use of power and hand tools
landscaping and irrigation systems
fuel break construction
weatherization and solar energy
teamwork, responsibility, and cooperation
Zero waste/ recycling
Youth receive job training in the areas of zero-waste and recycling while providing basic recycling services to clients throughout San Jose, as well as recycling at community events. Crews further environmental conservation efforts through
High school graduates have the opportunity to become a college intern and earn a scholarship, managing the campus recycling program while attending classes.
Youth learn database management through the Recycle iQ system and have the opportunity to earn a driver's license, train as a forklift operator, learn to use small utility/heavy equipment, and drive a recycling vehicle.
The Housing Solutions Enterprise offers work experience and training in the construction industry. Youth who participate in this program help to build portable living units ("tiny homes on wheels") that will be utilized by SJCC+CS students who are homeless, approximately 30% of those enrolled.
Through this program, youth receive training in basic construction and weatherization and are prepared to enter the construction industry.