The 2019 Local Government Forum led by Kate Fritz, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay

The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), in conjunction with the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), held its 2019 Local Government Forum on September 11th, 2019 at the National Conservation and Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. The Local Government Forum is an annual problem-solving and strategic planning event that has been held since 2015. This year, the Forum focused on workforce development in the stormwater and green infrastructure sectors.

LGAC invited experts from around the Chesapeake Bay’s watershed to discuss and make recommendations around the topic of enhancing workforce development. To aid in this development, six examples of workforce development programs from around the watershed were shared. They included:

  • Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional (CBLP) Certification Program presented by Beth Ginter, Chesapeake Bay Landscape Professional Coordinator: CBLP offers certification programs to establish baseline to advanced credentials focused on devising and maintaining stormwater practices and sustainable landscapes.
  • Blue Ridge Community & Technical College (CTC) presented by Cynthia Hull-Miller, Blue Ridge CTC: Based in Shepherdstown, WV, this college offers a 30-credit Associates Degree among other certification and training programs focused around applied science and technology. This is available to high school and continuing learning students.
  • Howard EcoWorks presented by Lori Lilly, Howard EcoWorks: Ecoworks is a multi-program service including “READY” for students, “UpLift” for adults, and “Seeds of Change” for incarcerated individuals in Maryland. These programs grant the opportunity to receive training and certifications surrounding environmental quality strategies through participating in hand-on city projects.
  • PA Dept of Conservation & Natural Resources Arboriculture Course presented by Shea Zwerver, PA Bureau of Forestry: This course is geared towards inmates nearing their sentencing release, to inspire them into careers within arboriculture and conservation. PA’s DCNR hopes to build a pipeline directly into industries that are in high-demand and diversify the workforce.
  • Clean Water Certificate Training Program presented by Neely Law, Center for Watershed Protection: The Clean Water Certificate training program, based in Baltimore, seeks to enrich under- and unemployed young adults, or those who are already involved in the field, who wish to expand their skills in stormwater management practices.
  • RiverCorps presented by Josh Burch, DC Department of Energy & Environment: RiverCorps, operated out of the District of Columbia, is a 5-month training course in the green infrastructure sector for young adults.

Case study presenters from left to right – Josh Burch, Cynthia Hull-Miller, Neely Law, Beth Ginter, Lori Lilly, and Shea Zwerver

A report of the 2019 Local Government Forum recommendations will be available later this year. Please check back here for more information, as well as to gain access to past Local Government Forum Reports.