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Johnson Controls’ Conservation Leadership Corps creating a greener future for Detroit

Company partners with The Student Conservation Association on environmental stewardship and career development program for Detroit-area teens

Detroit-area students are working this summer towards a greener future for the city thanks to Johnson Controls’ Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC). This week 33 high school students will kick-off the summer jobs program created and sponsored by Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company with core businesses in the automotive, building and battery industries, in partnership with the Student Conservation Association.

The CLC, in its seventh year in Detroit, provides students with professional development, leadership skills and environmental conservation experience, while completing fundamental projects in local community parks.

Throughout the course of the six week program, students will work with seven crew leaders and seven crew leader apprentices, and focus their efforts in Detroit’s Belle Isle Park, River Rouge Park and the Brightmoor neighborhood. Student crews work on a variety of projects, including outdoor classroom construction, new trail development, green space acreage expansion, planting of native trees, grasses and flowers, invasive plant species removal and general operations management. Students also will cultivate vital professional development skills, including help with resume writing and interview skills.

“The Conservation Leadership Corps program is important to us as it has a positive impact on the city of Detroit and the area’s high school students,” said Karen Sommer, director, global public affairs, Johnson Controls. “The students have a unique opportunity to gain hands-on work experience while developing professional skills and learning about the importance of environmental conservation.”

New this year, in partnership with the National Parks Service and U.S. Forest Service, a crew of returning students will work on environmental conservation projects in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Over the course of two weeks, the students will camp and work at the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Hiawatha National Forest. The students will learn about camping, risk management and explore a variety of conservation careers while working with conservation professionals.

According to Sommer, CLC participants were selected for this highly competitive program from more than 150 applicants based on their interview. Student candidates were assessed on leadership, work ethic, civic engagement, and interest and commitment to the environment.

On July 21, Johnson Controls employees will work alongside the students as they volunteer with CLC teams at several Detroit locations for an environmental learning experience. Activities will include planting, developing and maintaining trails, and removing invasive plant species.

On August 14, the students will participate in a professional development day – hosted by Johnson Controls’ Automotive Experience business at the company’s headquarters in Plymouth, Mich. – where they will learn the importance of sustainability, energy efficiency, hybrid battery technology, and expectations of today and tomorrow’s leaders. Students will engage in career-focused presentations from each of Johnson Controls’ businesses – Automotive Experience, Building Efficiency and Power Solutions.

The program will culminate in a graduation ceremony on August 15 at Milliken State Park and Harbor, where the CLC students, crew leaders and community partners will present awards to the CLC teams.

Support for the program is also being provided by the City Connect's Grow Detroit's Young Talent Program, Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, National Parks Service and U.S. Forest Service 

About Johnson Controls:

Johnson Controls is a global diversified technology and industrial leader serving customers in more than 150 countries. Our 170,000 employees create quality products, services and solutions to optimize energy and operational efficiencies of buildings; lead-acid automotive batteries and advanced batteries for hybrid and electric vehicles; and interior systems for automobiles. Our commitment to sustainability dates back to our roots in 1885, with the invention of the first electric room thermostat. Through our growth strategies and by increasing market share we are committed to delivering value to shareholders and making our customers successful. In 2014, Corporate Responsibility Magazine recognized Johnson Controls as the #12 company in its annual “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list. For additional information, please visit http://www.johnsoncontrols.com.

About the Student Conservation Association: 

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) is the only national organization that develops tomorrow's conservation leaders by providing high school and college students with service opportunities in all 50 states, from urban communities to national parks and forests. Since 1957, SCA’s hands-on practice of conservation service has helped to develop a new generation of conservation leaders, inspire lifelong stewardship and save the planet. SCA is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in Boise, Idaho, Charlestown, N.H., Chicago, Oakland, Calif., Pittsburgh and Seattle. For further information, visit www.thesca.org.

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