Local teens to experience the world of urban farming thanks to the Conservation Leadership Corps

Johnson Controls marks seventh year of providing summer jobs for 55 teens in Milwaukee area parks

Jul 17, 2012, 09:00 ET from Johnson Controls, Inc.

MILWAUKEE, July 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) gets underway this week with 55 Milwaukee teens digging into conservation and restoration work in Milwaukee County Parks. This marks the seventh year for the Johnson Controls summer jobs program, which promotes environmental stewardship and the development of leadership and job skills in urban youth. High school students will complete a variety of sustainability projects in local parks and will also get the opportunity to experience urban farming as part of the 2012 CLC program.

"We are excited to include an urban farming component in this year's program as a relevant addition to the valuable work these students are already doing in the community parks," said Jennifer Mattes, director, global public affairs, Johnson Controls. "The comprehensive education provided through the CLC enables Johnson Controls to support the next generation of environmental leaders in a unique and meaningful way."

Students will test their sustainability skills at one of 14 Milwaukee parks doing erosion control, invasive species removal and trail building.  At the same time the students will experience urban farming activities including aquaponics at Sweet Water Organics, fish farming at the Hunger Task Force Fish Hatchery & Farm, and rain garden installation at Alice's Garden. Participants earn a wage to complete the six-week program, which also includes a week of orientation and financial literacy training, as well as Green Jobs Day – a day of dedicated environmental and employment workshops hosted by Johnson Controls.

"As a community, we have a moral obligation to assist our young people as they plan their participation in the working world," Mayor Barrett said.  "Milwaukee's public and private sector partners are collaborating well in many areas including the great work of the Conservation Leadership Corps. I'm grateful to Johnson Controls for their support of this important initiative."

Johnson Controls, the primary sponsor of the CLC, welcomes the Young Professionals Academy (YPA) as a new partner in 2012. The YPA, a youth development program of the Milwaukee Violence Free Zone, will offer weekly career-based educational workshops highlighting job retention strategies and life and employee skills. 

The company also continues its strong partnerships with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) and Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) who manage the program, along with the Milwaukee County Parks and the Urban Ecology Center (UEC) to bring new opportunities in sustainability and workforce preparation to city of Milwaukee high school students. The CLC is part of Mayor Barrett's Earn & Learn summer youth employment program in Milwaukee.

"I applaud the Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps and Johnson Controls. This is a unique collaboration serving high school youth in Milwaukee to make a difference in their lives and communities. Through these efforts, not only will the youth benefit, but this provides valuable economic and environmental benefits for the rest of the community," said Don Sykes, Chief Executive Office of Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board.

"The CLC gives young people like me the unique opportunity to make a positive impact on our community and the environment while teaching valuable life skills," said CLC participant Serah Washington. "It has been really cool to see my growth as a young adult over the four years I've been with SCA and this program."

Program support is provided by primary funder Johnson Controls, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Forest County Potawatomi Foundation, Baird, Wisconsin Energy Foundation, and SAP America, Inc.

Established in Milwaukee, Johnson Controls also sponsors the CLC in Baltimore and Detroit, with similar programs provided 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 162,000 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 2012, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #5 company in its annual "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com

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, DC with offices in Boise, ID, Charlestown, NH, Oakland, CA, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA. For further information, visit www.thesca.org.

The Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB) is a public/private partnership between government and business that plans, administers and coordinates employment and training programs for adults and youth in Milwaukee County. As a workforce development board, MAWIB creates and manages a focused education, training and employment system that involves local educators, prospective training operators, area employers, job seekers and employees.


Amanda Williams


(414) 459-3942

SOURCE Johnson Controls, Inc.