Green Works: An Innovative Green Industry Integrated Vocational Program Patti Nagai Meryl Strichartz Horticulture Educator Master Gardener VolunteerRacine County UW-Extension Kenosha and Racine Counties UW-Extension Terri Friedrich Vocational Consultant Custom Employment Solutions
Community Need • Grass Roots Approach – Master Gardener Volunteers attended budget meetings – Waiting List for Services – Proposed vocational program
Green Works Partnerships & Program Model UW-Extension Horticulture Educator: Therapeutic horticulture Community resources: Human Resource organizations: - Master Gardener Volunteers -Racine County HSD -- Commercial nurseries -Custom Employment SolutionsLife experiences and industry knowledge Progressive Employment philosophies
Time Line• 2004 Need based opportunity to work with adults with developmental disabilities presented by Master Gardener Volunteers.• 2005 Developed community partnerships, defined program philosophies and designed program.• 2006 USDA grant funds pilot.• 2007Acquired greenhouse.• 2008 Added soft job skills to curriculum. Expanded greenhouse.• 2009 Added micro-enterprise self-employment and life- well being to classroom curriculum.
Green WorksAn application of therapeutic horticulture specifically for vocational purposes.
Therapeutic Horticulture• The active or passive process by which individuals may develop well-being using plants and horticulture.Benefits: – Intellectual – Emotional • Memory stimulation • Self worth • Vocational skills • Nurturing – Physical – Social • Daily life skills • Sharing • Fine and gross motor • Accepting skills – Spiritual • Nutritional
Three Stages of ProgramI. Recruit and train Master Gardener Volunteers (MGV) to be job coaches in integrated work environment. Select program participants through hands-on-interview process.II. MGVs and program participants work together in horticultural skills training, discovery process, soft job skill exercises, and micro-enterprise classroom/workshop self-employment activities.III. Job development, placement and job coaching in wage and volunteer employment positions.
Stage I: Training MGVs to be Job Coaches • Emphasis on self-determination • Systematic instruction of tasks • Developing natural supports • Understanding work culture • The importance of “fading”
MGV Training•Read Job Coach Quickstart and attend orientation•Meet monthly during greenhouse training•Consult with vocational specialist as needed•Approximately 24 hours of volunteer training
Hands-On InterviewAnnounce event through human service communicationchannelsinvite applicants upon review of written application (can be filledout by parent/guardian),conduct interview with tactile activities, e.g. putting soil in potselect applicants as a group
Stage II: Horticultural Skills Training MGVs and program participants work together in greenhouse skills training
Green Works Training•12 week course meets weekly• self-employment activities• soft job skill training•Participants receive a Certificate ofAchievement after completing the coursework.
Greenhouse Training:•Seeding•Watering•Materials assembly•Transplanting and labeling•Plant identification and care
Self-Employment Training:• Micro-business idea generation• Production experience• Basic micro-business planning• Business Powerpoint™ pitch• DVR/SSI opportunities
Stephy’s Snacks Nutritious and DeliciousGourmet Vegetable Platters,Salad Mixes and Dressings
Stephy’s Snacks Vegetable platters are a staple atevery festive event, but often the most overlooked menu item.Party planners need a source of organic delicious and decoratively prepared vegetable platters for special occasions!
Stephy’s Snacks Stephy’s Snacks offers healthy, organic, gourmet and decorative vegetable plattersto satisfy the needs of party planners.
Stephy’s SnacksStephy’s Snacks will direct market to local party planners, event planners, businesses and individuals who announce their engagement publicly. Stephy’s Snacks will also sell trays, salad mixes and dressings at the local farmer’s market.
Stage III: JobDevelopment, Placement & Coaching Partnering with an employment specialist, Green Works develops jobs and coaches
Job Coaching Master Gardener Volunteers spendan average of 20 hours actual job coaching per participant
Value of a Volunteer• The national average hourly wage value of a volunteer is $17.04.• We estimate the Master Gardener Volunteers trained as Job Coaches are worth approximately $45.00/hour because they are so highly skilled.
Keys to SuccessDeveloping Partnerships • Southern Wisconsin Center - Facilities • Racine Co. Human Service – Consumer needs • Custom Employment Solutions • Local Businesses – Employment trends & material donations • Small Business Development Center – Educational materials • Local politicians – Community program support & promotion • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation – Consumer services • Gardening groups – Community program support and promotion • Civic groups - Community program support and promotion
Program Design Considerations• Can be used with DVR services – Participants can request Green Works training – Supported employment – Future microenterprise ventures• Can be used with County HSD services – Referring participants – Potential funding (non-Family Care Counties)
Program Design Considerations• Important to understand trends in volunteerism• The potential of volunteers to contribute to your organization and/or program in powerful ways.