Vets graduate from 'A Different Shade of Green' program

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County is proud to announce that 20 unemployed, low-income veterans from the Central New York region have successfully completed the new job training program, A Different Shade of Green.

The first class of the Different Shade of Green program officially began the 14-week program on February 1 and completed the program on May 7.

"Graduates of this program are a valuable asset to the Central New York workforce. The Different Shade of Green program helps participants expand their career horizons by strengthening their existing career skills through classroom education and hands-on experience," said Anastasia L. Urtz, Executive Director of Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County.

"We are delighted with the achievements of the first class. Graduates have obtained employment in the Central New York region in the renewable energy and construction sectors. Others are building their own small business (to be located in the CNY area).

Five graduates are pursuing certificate training in solar panel installation, and two are pursuing college degree programs in renewable energy."

The Different Shade of Green program is designed to offer green-focused, work readiness training for up to 120 unemployed, low-income veterans and spouses of veterans (and other qualified non-veterans based on space availability) drawn from a five-county region of New York State.

The program consists of four ten-week training sessions that focus on career exploration, work readiness preparation, education in the Food, Renewable Energy, and Environment (FREE) disciplines, as well as emergency preparedness content.

Following this intensive ten-week process, participants are offered a month-long field placement that provides hands-on experience with green jobs in rural and urban agriculture, food supply and distribution, environmental technology, renewable energy systems, green construction and other environmental sustainability fields throughout Central New York. The program also assists participants in obtaining career preparation skills in budgeting, computing, interviewing and resume building.

Graduates from the first class of the Different Shade of Green program are Calvin Brown, Tom Bryant, Steve Cumber, Mack Darby, Harold Davis, Charles Hensley, Marcel Jones, Bernard Linney, Hugh Mosely, Clarence Pearson, Pat Ryan, and Thomas Sullivan of Syracuse; Steve Carey of Auburn; Nicholas Mandarino and Ashley McKeen of Baldwinsville; Greggory Gerst of Chittenango; James Guernsey of Camillus; E. Stephen Taylor of Elbridge; Robert Knight of Hastings; and Theodore Krawiec of Liverpool.

For more information on Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County and the Different Shade of Green program, call 424-9485 or visit extendonondaga.org/DifferentShadeofGreen.tab.aspx.

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