With scholarship assistance from the Council, Buffalo City Forester Ross Hassinger attended the 2019 Partners in Community Forestry Conference in Cleveland, Ohio on November 20-21.
I particularly enjoyed a session at Partners called, “Arboriculture Vocational Reentry Program: Building a Workforce Pipeline,” given by Shea Zwerver and Tyler Stevenson. The presentation highlighted the work done by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in conjunction with the PA Dept of Corrections and Penn State Extension.
This program trains currently incarcerated folks for jobs in the tree care industry; it seeks to meet the needs of our industry in terms of finding qualified workers while addressing the challenges parolees find in obtaining a good job that pays a livable wage. The State of Pennsylvania is committed to reducing recidivism and has found that this form of correctional education reduces return rates to prisons.
In addition to the Moses Cleveland tree, I found the tour of the Cleveland Clinic campus memorable for its well-designed landscapes and trees.
Many thanks to the Council for supporting me with this great learning opportunity.