KNOX Executive Director Patrick Doyle spoke with MetroHartford Alliance Content Manager Nan Price about the work the organization does to build a green, healthy, and sustainable community in Hartford.
NAN PRICE: How does collaborating with local organizations help KNOX make an impact in our community?
PATRICK DOYLE: One of the most exciting collaborations we’ve done with multiple organizations and groups has been partnering with the city to focus on building on the Love Your Block campaign. We’ve been focusing on how to engage more people around a large-scale, citywide cleanup that does a lot to improve the green spaces and the quality of life in our neighborhoods.
We’ve also formed collaborations with our Hartford Urban Garden Society (HUGS) awards. And we’ve worked in partnership with Advocacy to Legacy and Hartford NEXT to create more opportunities to recognize and amplify more of the good work that’s happening, citywide.
NAN: Let’s talk about workforce development.
PATRICK: We’ve revamped our workforce development and our farmers’ program. With support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), we’re actively working to engage more urban farmers. We’re providing them with access to community space and learning experiences that can help them start businesses they can use to support themselves, whether that’s a side hustle or a full-time job.
KNOX is operating two 16-week cycles of our workforce apprentice program. Hartford city residents who may have challenges connecting to employment opportunities, especially ones who want to be working outside, can receive intensive training, get their OSHA 10 certification, do some team building, and learn from our crew at KNOX.
At the end the program, participants are on a pathway to having sustainable employment in the industry and ready to step into full-time employment in the landscaping industry.