Vacant Land as an Opportunity for Workforce Development and Economic Growth 
Date & Time
Thursday, September 8, 2022, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Samir Dalal Keith Green Majeedah Rashid Gregory Thompson

Cleaning and caring for vacant lots is a critical part of keeping communities clean, safe, and stable. However, it requires a tremendous amount of labor. In this session, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society will share how they developed a six-week workforce development program to clean and maintain their stock of 12,000 parcels of vacant land. This paid, hands-on job training program is aimed at Philadelphia residents transitioning back into their communities from the Philadelphia prison system or experiencing other barriers to securing and maintaining employment. Program participants learn horticulture, landscape maintenance, greenhouse operations, and carpentry skills, and have access to courses on conflict resolution, health education, and occupational therapy. Through this session, attendees will learn new strategies for securing similar government and community partnerships, learn about the benefits of greening to increase economic opportunities, and the value of recycling dollars within urban communities to benefit residents.

Session Type
Breakout Session