City Service

Greencorps Chicago

Photo of Invasive Tree Removal


Greencorps Chicago is the City of Chicago’s green industry job training program for individuals with barriers to employment. Greencorps’ mission is to promote environmental stewardship and improve the quality of life in Chicago by establishing, maintaining, and restoring natural and public spaces that are safe, healthy, and sustainable through hands-on involvement with trainees. Greencorps succeeds through an array of public and private partnerships along with strong support from the city, county, state, and community partners. The outcome is healthier, safer, and more engaged communities and individuals who are prepared for employment through practical field experience and technical training in a variety of environmentally-related jobs.

During the nine month program, Greencorps Chicago trainees receive practical experience, academic enhancement, professional development, and training in a variety of environmentally-related jobs with skills that are easily transferable to other industries. Trainees receive classroom training in horticulture, tree care, landscaping, carpentry, ecological restoration, pesticide use, green infrastructure, and a variety of other project-specific topics. Trainees are provided diverse learning opportunities and hands-on training experiences in careers like landscaping, tree care, ecological restoration, and brownfield remediation. Training happens both in the classroom and in the field working with the Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, the Chicago Department of Planning and Development, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Coastal Management Program, and other public and community partners.

Greencorps trainees are offered a number of professional certifications including: Defensive Driving Course, First Aid/CPR, HAZWOPER, OSHA 10-Hour Safety, Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Class, and the Illinois Pesticide license.

Throughout the program, trainees are supported with wrap-around social services and a stable income, leading to high retention rates that increase trainees’ abilities to secure full time employment upon completion of the program. An outplacement specialist works to identify appropriate placement matches and continues with post placement follow-up addressing any workplace issues that may arise. This process provides a range of employment placement opportunities for those successfully completing the program and aids businesses in finding and keeping the right candidate.

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