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CCLT Training  and Apprenticeship Program


In 2017, 2018 and 2019 the Stewardship Council granted funds to the California Council of Land Trusts (CCLT) to launch and administer the Training and Apprenticeship Program (TAP).  This intern program fostered tomorrow’s young conservation leaders and increased the cultural and ethnic diversity of young people in the land conservation industry. CCLT recruited and screened summer interns and partnered with land trusts that would host the intern. CCLT provided each intern with comprehensive training about the land trust and conservation community. During their time with each stewardship group efforts vary, but typically include shadowing land trust employees, working on development projects and preparing grant applications. Half of the interns in the first cohort were hired by the land trusts for which they interned. For the young people that participated in TAP, their work at various land trusts was so much more than just a summer job.  



Each year CCLT built on the success of the programs in previous years, further streamlining the program and significantly enhancing the way they recruited for land trust and intern applicants.  Those activities included: 

  • CCLT executed targeted outreach to organizations that had not previously partnered with CCLT before with a heightened emphasis on attracting millennials, youth of color, and/or youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods. 

  • CCLT focused on promotion and advertising materials that attracted interns that reflect the changing demographics of California.

  • As part of the outreach, CCLT increased promotion of the program success to leverage the Stewardship Council funding to attract additional funding sources. They focused on securing relationships with local banking, businesses and enterprise organizations that have a track record of supporting community-based resource development.  

  • CCLT applied a more hands-on approach to engage land trusts to consider applying for interns for the summer.  We believe many land trusts were reluctant to apply thinking they would be more impacted by having to supervise the interns and not get sufficient benefit in return.  We were successful in overcoming this misconception with the organizations we reached out to.    

  • CCLT used a competitive process and encouraged land trusts to provide both hard and soft contributions to enhance the program. 

  • CCLT screened the applications and actively worked to encourage consistency across the selection process. 

  • In the comprehensive, in-depth land trust training for all selected interns, CCLT included supervisors from the selected land trusts participating in the training program.   

  • CCLT researched social media apps to facilitate communications among and between interns during the internship experience. 

  • CCLT monitored the progress of each intern using Zoom meeting or similar platforms (where technologically feasible) to enhance the every-2-week dialog.  

Through the leadership and support of the Stewardship Council CCLT designed and implemented a successful multi-year program that provided a path for youth to experience the benefits of working with land trusts.  The participating interns had first-hand knowledge of the career opportunities available in the land conservation community and the participating land trusts experienced the value of the unique skills that a younger worker brings to their environment.

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