What's New in 2012?

The progression of the program generates exciting opportunities for the 2012 summer. Building off the foundation of the first two years, the 2012 summer will offer exciting new opportunities for participants and community members. In coordination with natural evolution and structural needs, GELT has made several adjustments to once again lead the country in green economy training.

Industry Training Tracks: In 2012, participants will opt into specific training tracks that are geared to provide the most comprehensive experience, specific to a green industry. Tracks of Renewable Energy, Urban Agriculture, Energy Efficiency and Resource Management will offer individuals tailored curriculum, projects and experience, providing the necessary time and relevant sites to prepare them for financial success in the industry of their choosing. 
Architectural Salvage Training: includes both deconstruction and skimming. Deconstruction is the dissassembly of buildings to their foundation to preserve up to 85% of the materials that otherwise would be sent to a landfill. Skimming is a less intensive method where easy-to-remove materials are salvaged.
WeSource Management Training: Water and Waste will be focus of this training to identify solutions, projects and businesses grounded in the capture and re-purposing of these vital assets. Greywater/Blackwater systems, along with rain water harvesting trainings will combine with innovative recycling programs(such as food waste, used vegetable oil and discarded community materials) to provide the necessary skills to become leaders in creating financial solutions to these resources.
Business Integration: Experiencing green industries on the front-lines, participants will work directly with local businesses to understand the complexities of starting, operating and growing a green business. From accounting, to sales, to manufacturing, businesses in new, emerging arenas must be able to compete(against large, corporate business) to stay solvent, providing the critical opportunity for program participants to be apart of the challenges facing these new industries.
Nutritional Health Series: All food has distinct qualities and energetic properties that affect your body depending on where, when and how it’s grown and prepared. This series will educate on different foods and how growing conditions affect the way you feel, think and act. Teachings on bio-individuality and superfoods will provide direct, personalize solutions for every lifestyle

Infrastructure Projects

A critical component to GELT, is the deployment of resilient projects that not only serve immediate functions for community members, but also provide the experience of project development and application. There will be 4 main program installations, specific to Industry Training Tracks, that participants will design, develop and deploy in Highland Park. Additionally, participants will assist in developing, expanding or designing 2 city-scale projects that GELT, in collaboration with the city and sister-organizations, are currently engaged in.
Renewable Energy Track Project: In collaboration with community, regional partners, RE participants will design, resource and install a solar PV system on the apartment building at 116 Candler. Expanding on the research performed in 2011, procuring funding sources as well as designing, with an aim at install, will be the goal of this ground-breaking project; the first multi-family residential structure solar pv system in Highland Park
Additionally, individuals in this Track will begin to design the first-of its kind, city scale solar street light system. Through partnership with the City of Highland Park, the mayor and the HP Sustainability Task Force, participants will have the opportunity to revolutionize the way cities look at lighting.
Energy Efficiency Track Project: Partnered with several local businesses, participants in this track will perform over 100 residential weatherizations, saving residents over $150 annually, on their utility bill. Additionally, individuals will conduct 5 comprehensive energy audits, preparing owners to seal their building and install renewable energy. Two audits will be performed on city-owned buildings; the Administration building and the Recreation Center. Another Audit on the Administration building for the Highland Park School District, with the remaining two audits coming from local churches 
Urban Agriculture Track Project: Transformation of a vacant lot into a full-scale agriculture production, a hoop house, a CSA or Perennial Fruiting Orchard, will be the project for individuals in this track. Working on land owned by GELT sister organization, Distributed Power, participants will design, develop and install an accessible, functional growing space that drives revenue, feeds local residents, and teaches urban agriculture. Long-term viability of the development will be the foundation for what is designed, ensuring success and evolution of the space.
Resource Management Track Project: Participants in this track will get a sampling of effective, practical solutions to managing and using vital resources. First, building off the 2011 Garbage Kingdom project, individuals will use a Kaboom grant to revamp the aesthetics and functionality of the playground. Next, participants will design and install a composting toilet for a bathroom inside of the apartment building at 116 Candler. Finally, this team will be tasked with designing and installing a water catchment system for the 116 Candler building, and the existing Hoop House on the adjacent lot.
Additionally, this team will work with directly with the City of Highland Park and the HP Sustainability Task Force to expand on the Resource Recovery Project, a city-wide project to relcaim, repurpose and reuse all discarded materials in the city. A unique opportunity to leave a mark on how a city addresses waste and unwanted materials.