Long Beach's First Youth Climate Corps CohortRelease Date: 2023-01-17
The City of Long Beach officially began its first Youth Climate Corps cohort in June, including ten youth supporting the Office of Sustainability.
The Youth Climate Corps aims to increase youth employment, develop youth interest and experience towards a career in public service, and strengthen city capacity to address education, climate & food insecurity. Participants gain a better understanding of climate action and work directly with local communities to build their knowledge, confidence and connections.
Applicants submit an interest form and then are placed in positions with public agencies or nonprofits organizations, which provide training and support to participants. There are several city departments involved including Public Works, Parks Recreation and Marine, City Manager Office, Economic Development and the Health Department. Many nonprofits including the Growing Experience, Adventures to Dream, and Long Beach Community Compost also support youth. These placements support Long Beach’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) which addresses key climate issues of extreme heat, air quality, drought, flood, and waste.
Funding for this program is provided by Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Fund established under the American Rescue Plan Act and is secured to last until the summer of 2024.
“Investing in our green workforce is critical to Long Beach’s long-term future,” said Sustainability Coordinator Larry Rich. “It has been inspiring to work with young people who are highly engaged in Long Beach’s climate issues, they are the ones that will help create a more resilient Long Beach for generations to come.”
The Office of Sustainability YCC participants support the field and office team. They assist with restoration at Willow Springs Park, the Green Business Program and creating content for the LB Sustainability social media pages.
Tatiana Roque, who has been a YCC member since July said, “through this program, I have gained knowledge about climate action and environmental protection.”
Roque is a Long Beach native and minored in Environmental Science & Policy at CSULB, she spends her workday outside learning about local flora and fauna and tending to the park. “There are so many different environmental fields to go into, but Willow Springs has made me love working outside. I have planted many plants at the park, and it feels as if as I watch the plants grow, I grow too.”
The program also offers support services for uniform, transportation and technology, where they receive up to a $500 reimbursement. Additionally, professional development workshops are provided to alleviate the anxieties of career preparation. These services are offered to set youth up for success so they can transition into to a permanent job or continuing education.
The city had 40 participants for the first cohort and will soon open applications for the second cohort. Participants can work up to 30 hours a week and pay a maximum of 450 hours. This program is offered to anyone who is 16-30 years old, lives in Long Beach/Signal Hill. No work experience in necessary and starts at $16 per hour.
Interested applicants may fill out an interest form here.
Please contact Reza Pearl at Reza.Perl@pacific-gateway.org for any questions.