At-Risk Teens in Illinois Learning to Run Lawn Maintenance Companies

Roughly 15 teens aged 16 to 19 in Peroria being trained on mowing and trimming, preparing estimates and bids.

In Peoria County, IL, this summer, 15 at-risk youths, ages 16 to 19, will be getting a lesson in operating a lawn maintenance business.

The Youth Employment Lawn Care Program focuses on cutting grass, trimming weeds and picking up some litter at about 350 vacant parcels Peoria County has acquired because of delinquent taxes.

“We wanted to look at a community-benefits type of program, not just doing the work we’re required to do,” said Mike Rogers, the city Public Works director. “The work gets done, but where is the true benefit to our community? We see young people all the time that may not have hope or opportunity.”

Training for the teens is an essential part of the program and will includes mowing, financial literacy, creating estimates and bids, teamwork, the job-application process, and more