While green jobs training programs are available at community colleges and in post-high school workforce training centers across the country, a high school in California is offering training to an even younger crowd – sophomores through seniors. Benicia High School (BHS) in Benicia, California is launching the new ECH2O Academy, which offers its students an environmental education alongside standard high school curriculum.

According to BHS, “the goal of the ECH2O Academy of Environmental Resource Management is to instill in our students a sense of environmental stewardship and provide unique and challenging opportunities in the environmental sciences.”

Students in the program will participate in environmental science-related field trips, be partnered with a mentor in the work force in 11th grade and can take advantage of an internship in the 12th grade. At that point, students that complete the three year-program will be prepared to accept an entry-level position in an environmental-related field.

While students will have the skills they need to obtain an entry-level position, some students will undoubtedly prefer to continue their environmental education. Students can choose to attend nearby Solano Community College, which has several eco programs, or head on to a four-year university for a Bachelor’s degree in a related field.

I love this program – what a great way to get today’s youth prepared for the green jobs of today and of the future. With unemployment among teens exorbitantly high, 25.7 percent in January 2011, the more skills training that we can provide teens today, the better their job-hunting futures will be.

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