New program teaches lawn care skills to enterprising people - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

New program teaches lawn care skills to enterprising people

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FLINT (WJRT) - (06/04/14) - For the past few years, dozens of women have been trained to do professional sewing through the St. Luke NEW Life Program in Flint.

Many men asked if there was a skill they could learn that would help them put bread on the table. The sisters at St. Luke have experience in helping women get back on the employment rolls. They got together with some enterprising men and came up with a plan.

They created the St. Luke New Life Center Lawn Care and Snow Removal Service. The men have made it their goal to clean up several neighborhoods on Flint's north side.

"We wanted to create something within this organization that was strictly for the community," said Ahmone Wheeler, who graduated from the St. Luke NEW Life Center.

Eight men completed a 12 week course and earned their certificates at NEW Life. The men learned interviewing skills, how to fill out job applications and how to run a lawn service.   
 
"The program is about getting yourself together, getting your family together, getting your kids together," said Kelvin Black, who graduated from the St. Luke NEW Life Center.

"They picked up gardening skills, horticulture skills, they picked up light construction skills. We've done roofing things," Wheeler said.

The men want to eliminate hazards in neighborhoods that could be dangerous for children, things like tall weeds and broken glass. One of the men who helped create the lawn service program says improving the city is the goal.

"I did 33 years in prison. When I came home, Flint was a whole different city, a war zone. Houses burned, trees hanging in the middle of the streets, houses torn up. I didn't like what I saw," said Robbie Taylor, who graduated from St Luke NEW Life Center.

The men will be paid for their work through grants and donations. Some of them hope they'll be able to start their own business with the skills they picked up in the training program.
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