ARLINGTON, Va. — The SCA is excited to announce that the KeyBank Foundation will award the organization $300,000 over two years to help provide green conservation jobs for high school students in Cleveland and Pittsburgh. This generous support is part of KeyBank’s $40 billion investment into the communities it serves and demonstrates its ongoing commitment to climate action and environmental justice.
“The SCA is grateful for the support from the KeyBank Foundation. As two organizations that are deeply committed to enhancing neighborhoods through conservation, climate action, equity and workforce development, we believe this is a natural partnership,” said Lidia Soto-Harmon, SCA President and CEO. “We look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead and are committed to fostering equity in the outdoors by engaging more young people of color.”
The SCA is the largest provider of hands-on environmental conservation programs for youth and adults. Program participants protect and restore national parks, marine sanctuaries, cultural landmarks and community green spaces at various locations across the country. Through our Urban Green Program, the SCA provides young people with paid green jobs, including in Pittsburgh and Cleveland.
Pittsburgh is home to the SCA’s largest and longest-running program for high schoolers, which provides youth with a 6-week summer job doing hands-on conservation work in city parks and community green spaces. Crew members work on conservation service projects, including improving trails, removing invasive species and improving community gardens.
“All of us at KeyBank are committed to partnering with organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those we serve,” said Carla Frost, KeyBank’s Western Pennsylvania Corporate Responsibility Officer. “The hands-on experience SCA programming provides young people prioritizes care for our environment and strengthens participants’ life skills that are crucial to their success in school, careers and the communities where they live. We are excited to partner with SCA in their work to develop the next generation of leaders to help make the Greater Pittsburgh area an even better place to live and visit.”
In Cleveland, SCA programming centers around team-based projects designed to introduce participants to conservation work in the outdoors while learning valuable interpersonal and work skills. Crew members will work alongside land managers from Cleveland Metroparks on much-needed service projects to improve and protect natural areas within the region.
“At KeyBank we are dedicated to building stronger communities and improving the lives of our neighbors,” said Kelly Lamirand, KeyBank’s Cleveland Market President and Commercial Sales Leader. “We are thrilled to support the Student Conservation Association, creating jobs for the young people in our hometown market. The efforts of SCA closely align with our values and we look forward to working together to improve the landscape of Northeast Ohio.”
Last year, the SCA engaged more than 2,000 youth and young adults in hands-on environmental conservation programs that collectively provided nearly 1 million hours of service at federal, state, and local parks and natural areas. SCA participants increased the nation’s climate resiliency, reduced wildfire risks, enhanced equity and environmental justice, strengthened urban communities, implemented historic preservation initiatives and retired backlogged maintenance projects.