We’re excited to announce a $1.5 million grant award from the U.S. Department of Labor for our Tree Trust YouthBuild program. This pre-apprentice construction and arborist training program focuses on teaching youth skilled trades as a pathway to competitive wages and sustainable careers.

“Tree Trust is thrilled to receive this funding award from the U.S. Department of Labor. Our YouthBuild program has served promising young people since 2006 in the Twin Cities, focusing on areas of greatest need in Minneapolis such as low-income neighborhoods with low graduation rates. This grant continues the critical funding that creates the opportunity for young people to develop valuable career and leadership skills, while helping the community through home construction and tree care, ultimately supporting participants in reaching their career goals and achieving their academic aspirations,” stated Jared Smith, Tree Trust Executive Director and CEO.

For more than 15 years, Tree Trust YouthBuild has served the Twin Cities metro area by helping youth develop valuable career and leadership skills while transforming their community through residential affordable housing construction. Students receive hands-on training and earn a paycheck, all while continuing their education towards their high school diploma and an industry-recognized skilled trade credential. This pre-apprenticeship program aims to help youth accelerate their progress toward employment and career goals, avoid debt, and earn competitive wages.

Reflecting on their experience, a Tree Trust YouthBuild student shared with us, “Tree Trust opened different career paths and opportunities for me. They taught me responsibility and the rewards of being on time.”

Tree Trust YouthBuildSince 2019, Tree Trust YouthBuild has offered an innovative pre-apprentice tree care track as part of the YouthBuild program. Thanks to Tree Trust YouthBuild’s long-standing urban forestry partnerships, students receive on-the-job training and instruction by an experienced arborist in the in-demand field of tree care. Students earn industry recognized tree care credentials while they learn tree identification, climbing and pruning techniques, planting, safety, plant health care, and general tree maintenance. As the forest pest emerald ash borer (EAB) devastates millions of urban ash trees throughout the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, there is great need for young people to become tree care professionals. By identifying and removing trees with EAB, planting new trees, and maintaining healthy trees, the next generation of young people can engage in a meaningful career in urban forestry, as well as make a real difference in their community, so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of trees for future generations.

Another Tree Trust YouthBuild student talked about how the program fostered both personal growth and connected them to a bigger cause, “Tree Trust helped me be more independent and gave me the opportunity to take care of the environment and my community.”

At Tree Trust, we remain committed to growing a vibrant and resilient urban forest as we engage young people to build skills for meaningful careers. We provide career pathway opportunities in a variety of in-demand green and skilled trade occupations from entry-level experiences to pre-apprenticeship programs.

Build your future now by applying to Tree Trust YouthBuild! The application is now available online and due by October 4th.

For more information about Tree Trust’s Career Pathways programs for young people contact our Outreach Coordinator via email.