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SF Department Of Environment Trains Hard-to-Hire Workers For Green Jobs

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) -- Inside a restaurant on Market Street in San Francisco, Camea Davis is at work. She's not a chef or waiter. She's teaching the restaurant staff the ins and outs of green living, in this case it's a lesson on composting.

Davis is part of a city program called "Environment Now." Her job is to go door-to-door, educating San Francisco residents and businesses how to achieve the city's goal of zero waste by the year 2020.

For Davis, this job is more like a ticket to a better life.

"I was homeless for about a year. It seemed like forever," she says. "I was lost, I didn't know what I wanted to do."

In and out of Tenderloin shelters and having no college degree were huge handicaps for Camea in her quest for a career.

Then she heard about "Environment Now."

"I know I want to do something with the environment because I want to be a part of changing the world," Davis told KPIX 5.

James Slattery, with San Francisco's Dept. of Environment, thinks Davis has a head start.

Slattery calls the Environment Now program much more than an internship. Many of the applicants come from tough backgrounds and, when they arrive here, they aren't just fetching coffee and making copies.

They become ecology experts and learn computer applications while they earn a living wage with benefits.

"We tell them it's probably going to be the most challenging job they ever had. When they leave here, the job or career they land in is easy compared to this," Slattery said.

Soon, Camea Davis will graduate from Environment Now with professional skills, a solid resume and a mindset to conquer the world.

"Working here I learned don't be afreaid to fail, you learn from it," Davis says.

To apply to the program or for more information go to:

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