Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps (MCLC)

With a private, public, and not-for-profit partnership between Johnson Controls Inc. (JCI), Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB), and the Student Conservation Association (SCA), SCA fielded its first community conservation program in Milwaukee in 2006. Since then, thousands of Milwaukee City youth have participated in both Summer and School-Year green job/land stewardship programs. Thanks to the generosity of JCI, the program’s primary funder, and Milwaukee County Parks System, SCA continues to provide valuable conservation opportunities and work experience to Milwaukee’s youth ages 15-19.

Program Overview:

The Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps (MCLC) provides year-round conservation opportunities divided into two seasons: school-year programs (typically running October through May) and summer programs (running July through August). The MCLC offers both volunteer and paid service opportunities. Volunteer programs occur on weekends, while paid service programs run Monday-Friday in the summertime, but require evening and weekend participation during the school year. Members serve mainly in Milwaukee County Parks and area nature centers, but have also worked in aquaponics and on beaches. Participants learn a plethora of green job skills such as trail building and maintenance, habitat restoration, invasive plant removal, and container gardening. The program maintains a holistic approach by including soft skills training in areas such as conflict resolution, healthy eating, and outdoor recreation with more concrete workshops on leadership skills, college preparation, and financial literacy.

Participants who complete the program will have experience working within a diverse team, learning effective ways to communicate, address, and prevent conflict; they will gain knowledge of public land resources, environmental issues, and how to address them with lifestyle changes; they will get basic career preparedness training, including budgeting and saving; and they will develop an increased understanding of environmental and trail restoration techniques. Participants also develop an understanding and appreciation for volunteerism and community service along with outdoor recreation.

Trainings Offered: 

  • CPR Certification
  • Resume Building       
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Outdoor Ethics
  • Financial Literacy
  • Habitat Restoration
  • Trail Skills
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Water Quality Testing
  • Container Gardening

Eligibility Requirements: 

Applicants must be at least 15 years of age or in high school and no older than 19 years of age at time of application. Other requirements vary by position.

To contact SCA’s Community Program in Milwaukee, email

To apply, log in or sign up to start your application today!

Related Posts & Program Information

The 2013 Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps Program successfully completed its eighth year, with 60 Milwaukee city youth completing this six week service program. These local high school students and recent graduates committed themselves to conservation service projects in Milwaukee’s parks and nature areas, becoming an integral part of SCA’s mission of building the next generation of conservation leaders by engaging in hands-on service to the land.

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Summer in the city conjures images of crowded pools and road construction - not teenagers wielding pickaxes. But 55 teens ages 15 to 19 bypassed the beach to participate in the Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps, a six-week summer job program that pays Milwaukee youth $7.50 an hour to do environmental work in the area.

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Environmental work and education program focuses on local flood cleanup effort. Seventy Milwaukee teens, sponsored by Johnson Controls, (NYSE: JCI) are keeping busy this summer as participants of the Conservation Leadership Corps (CLC) summer youth employment program.

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In a meeting with the Editorial Board the other day, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Donald Sykes, president and CEO of the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board, expressed their appreciation to the Walmart Foundation for the $550,000 the foundation is donating to help train young workers for green jobs.

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