WASHINGTON, DC — Project Learning Tree (PLT), the award-winning environmental education initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), has developed new supplementary education materials to help youth discover careers in sustainable forestry and conservation.
Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers includes four hands-on instructional activities to help youth research different forest-sector jobs, and practice managing and monitoring forest resources. Anyone can use this resource with learners aged 12–25 in settings ranging from community youth programs and school classrooms, to college and career prep, to field trips and forest tours.
PLT’s Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers unit is available through a PLT in-person professional development workshop offered by our network of state coordinators or can be purchased from Shop.plt.org. An online course is also being developed.
Green jobs represent one of the fastest growing and changing segments of the global economy. At the same time, today’s youth are seeking rewarding careers that help us move toward more sustainable lifestyles and greener economies. Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers inspires youth to become lifelong forest supporters and conservation leaders and gets youth excited about green careers as they explore forest-related jobs.
Employers are looking for workers who can communicate and collaborate, and who are creative leaders. Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers includes a self-assessment for youth to analyze their leadership and people-oriented skills, as well as their technical skills in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), along with career connections that can help any worker in today’s job market.
“Some of the most exciting and greenest jobs involve forests. These jobs benefit forests and ensure that the forest products we depend on are sustainably sourced,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc. “At SFI, we advance sustainability through forest-focused collaborations and we are thrilled to engage our accredited partners and diverse professional networks in growing pathways to green careers with this latest resource from Project Learning Tree.”
Support for the Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers unit and accompanying online resources was provided by the U.S. Forest Service and the Society of American Foresters.
“SAF is proud to support this exciting, new resource from our partners at Project Learning Tree and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative,” said Terry Baker, CEO at the Society of American Foresters. “Forests and trees are poised to be a major part of the solution to many of our world’s most pressing issues, which is why inspiring the next generation of forestry professionals and conservation leaders is fundamental to our future.”
“Exploring “green jobs” is a timely topic,” says Tinelle Bustam, Director (acting), Conservation Education, U.S. Forest Service, State and Private Forestry. “All too often I am asked, “So, how does a person get into your position?” This training curriculum provides the answer to that question as well as a deeper look into the role of a land manager as decision maker and change agent.”
Educators, career and guidance counselors, Scouts, 4-H, and FFA leaders, foresters, and job training advisors in particular can use this resource to help youth envision forestry career opportunities and point out pathways to green careers.