CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A work force development program is helping to fill a growing need, in an unlikely field of work.
The course provides training and job placement for people going into the tree care industry.
"It's something to look forward to everyday and I've learned a lot," said Trainee, Lamont Thomas.
Thomas carefully drives his shovel into the ground, preparing to plant a tree that'll be around long after he's gone.
"Today we've just been digging holes, getting these trees ready to be put into the ground on Saturday," said Thomas.
He's one of just eight trainees enrolled in the Tree Corps, a paid Community Forestry workforce development program held by Holden Forests and Gardens.
"Coming from all different backgrounds, it gives them the opportunity to enter the fields of Community forestry and agriculture, the tree care industry and anything in that realm," said organizer,
By the time Thomas and all of his colleagues are done with the 19 week program, they'll all be Certified Tree Care Apprentices and Specialists.
Haley Morris said it's one of the best programs she could have ever decided to be apart of.
"It's just a really good thing for the community to be able to learn these skills and also be apart of and actually think of it as a job," said Morris.
The group is literally giving new life to various communities throughout Northeast Ohio, they'll be planting over 40 trees in the North Collinwood area.
"It may not seem it right now, but it has one of the lower canopy percentages in the city," said Natalie
But thankfully that'll soon change thanks to the new trainees. Thomas is just happy to be able to "branch out" to new endeavors with a great group of people.
"I love nature already but I didn't know that it was so much more to it. I love my tree corps members. It's a nice variety of people. Diana's great and I love just being here with everybody," said Thomas.
If you'd like to get involved with the Tree Corps, you can click on this link.