LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- The Conservation Corps of Long Beach is a nonprofit organization helping connect youth 18 to 26 years old with job skills and training.
"Corps members spend a year with us doing paid training, paid on the job training, while they're getting certifications, different career skills, help with their resume and exploring different careers that might be of interest to them," said David Sall, deputy director of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach.
They've developed an Urban Lumber Program in an effort to remove 1,000 dead, dying and diseased trees.
2,000 new trees will also be planted and so far, eight people are currently in the program.
"I started work out here probably a few months ago and first, we started learning the basics of the mill and how to operate it, how to clean it and how to get it to start and after that, we started bringing the wood, learning different types of wood," said Maurice Lopez, a participant in the Urban Lumber Program.
The removed tree trunks will be converted into usable lumber and pieces that will become available to the community later this year.
The process takes a while because the wood has to sit out to dry.
"It's going to be our corps members who are going to be developing furniture or pieces that will generate revenue for the program to continue existing," said Javier Valladares, director of construction training with the Conservation Corps of Long Beach.
Cal Fire is giving a $1 million grant to fund this training program, which is a collaboration with the Conservation Corps of Long Beach, the City of Long Beach's Public Works Department and West Coast Arborists.
"The difference between forced cut lumber that you find in Home Depot, Lowes or big box stores is it's all cut down for the value of its timber. We're utilizing trees that would just go to a landfill, restoring the carbon and also beautifying the city back with trees that were grown in it," said Jason Rose, foreman with West Coast Arborists.
If you're interesting in joining the program or checking out other job training you can go to their website.
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