Trenton Climate Corps (TCC), a subsidiary of Isles Inc., teaches Corps members marketable skills in environmentally sustainable industries to aid in securing future employment. Some of the skills and areas of service are community cleanups, tree planting, stormwater runoff systems, and improving short and long-term viability.

Their work will help to mitigate the heat island effect that causes cities to be several degrees warmer than the suburbs and can be detrimental to the health of residents who are less able to afford home cooling. Alongside planting trees, they also want to install geographic information systems to document the species and health of trees in Trenton to expand the trees population of native species further.

Trenton Climate Corps is also a job training and workforce development program. TCC pays the Corps members throughout their training, which consists of 12, 40-hour weeks where Corps members learn new skills and then immediately put those skills to work.

Stephanie Sharo, the Climate Corps Coordinator, described this program as “more education based than a normal job, yet more job based than a school.” which is something you do not find in every workplace these days.

The program has already completed three professional development certifications and developed agricultural skills.

“By learning and working in the multiple disciplines of agriculture, forestry, stormwater, and energy, we are expanding our participants job prospects, but also their sense of stewardship,” says Jim Simon, Deputy Director, Community Planning & Development.

Community members are encouraged to engage with the program by volunteering, nominating local gardens to be revitalized, providing project ideas and or materials, and helping get the word out when applications open for the next cohort.

Isles plans to have two permanent Climate Corps members employed over the fall and winter before onboarding the spring and summer 2023 cohort. Applications for these two positions will go live on the Isles website in August, and other short-term positions will be released throughout the year.