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Applications for 2024 YLHT Workforce Development Program Now Open

HOF is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the second year of its Youth Landscape and Hardscape Team workforce development program.

The Youth Landscape and Hardscape Team (YLHT) program is an eight-week program that provides steady, paid summer employment, on-the-job training, and workplace skills that prepare students for the adult workforce. Metro-Atlanta students ages 15-18 who attend Title I high schools can gain occupational and leadership skills and multi-career exposure while caring for the landscapes and hardscapes of a historic site. The 2024 program will run from June 3 through July 26.

All YLHT students, who work 25 hours per week onsite at the Cemetery, are paired with mentors in their primary field of interest. Through partner organizations in each field, team members also explore career pathways in landscaping/horticulture and hardscaping/masonry.

Working alongside Historic Oakland Foundation landscaping and preservation staff members, last year’s inaugural class of nine program attendees learned basic landscaping and horticulture skills or basic preservation and masonry skills. The 2023 hardscape team spent last summer identifying and learning about different kinds of stone, reconstructing a damaged brick wall, forming and molding concrete, and using a variety of tools including spades, chisels and hammers, tamps, and more. The 2023 landscape team learned to classify trees, uproot and relocate plants, trim plantings with hedgers and weed eaters, mix compost and soil, and how properly to care for a variety of plants They even built a privacy screen out of plants near the greenhouse.

“Our inaugural launch of Oakland’s YLHT was a success thanks to “all hands on deck” from our staff and a cohort of students who were eager to learn. I am excited about this summer’s program as we expand our cohort and enhance students’ knowledge about hardscape and horticulture,” said Charvis Buckholts, Historic Oakland Foundation’s director of education and youth programs.

Students who complete the YLHT program will be invited to apply to next year’s YLHT Leadership Track, a summer program where they will learn supervisory and leadership skills, project management, and small business fundamentals while co-managing a first-year cohort. Leadership track participants will also gain access to relevant certifications and exposure to additional career pathways specific to their chosen track.

Students interested in applying for the 2024 Youth Landscape and Hardscape Team should submit their applications by April 26, 2024. Learn more about the program here.

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