As Coronavirus Closures Costs Jobs, Central Coast Nonprofit Keeps Youth Working

May 4, 2020

Even as the coronavirus crisis ravages the economy, wildfire season is arriving again.

For Central Coast nonprofit The CREW, wildfire preparation is helping to keep their workers employed. 

The environmental group offers services like wood chipping and yard clearing to residents of the Ojai Valley, with a focus on hiring and training 18-to-24-year-olds.

That age group has been particularly hard hit by the economic shutdown, and Executive Director Jenniffer Berry says that being able to keep their employees working is vital. 

“We’ve actually hired a couple people recently, which I don’t really say aloud too much because I know so many nonprofits and businesses are having to lay people off,” Berry says.

“Being able to keep the kids working? Yeah, that’s a really big deal.”

As far as social distancing, their free curbside wood chipping is pretty much already in compliance.

“We just come by, and we’ll just chip it, and then go!” Berry says. “There’s no need for us to be close to community members, so we’re able to do that with really very little risk.”

You can find out more about the CREW on their website.