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Roots of Success

Berkeley, CA |
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Roots of Success


Roots of Success (RoS) is an empowering environmental literacy and job training program that prepares youth and adults with significant barriers to employment to access jobs and career pathways in environmental fields and to improve environmental and social conditions in their communities. The program is centered around a federally registered Department of Labor Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship program and 10-module course and prepares individuals for 70 jobs and 111 career pathways  in environmental and STEM fields.

Roots of Success is offered in job training programs, reentry programs, prisons, jails, juvenile facilities, high schools, youth programs, adult schools and other workforce and education settings throughout the United States. Since 2009, the program has been offered in over 600 programs in 40 states and over 26,000 youth and adults have gone through the program; more than 12,000 youth and adults took the course while incarcerated. The Roots of Success course is composed of 10 modules: 

1) Fundamentals of Environmental Literacy

2) Water

3) Waste

4) Transportation

5) Energy

6) Building

7) Health, Food & Agriculture

8) Community Organizing & Leadership

9) Financial Literacy & Social Entrepreneurship

10) Application & Practice

The program strengthens academic, professional, financial, social entrepreneurship, and advocacy skills. The teaching approach encourages students to use their lived experiences as the foundation upon which to build further knowledge and skills, deepen their understanding of environmental problems and solutions, and access  jobs in environmental fields. 

Graduates earn an “Environmental Specialist” Pre-Apprenticeship credential and are prepared to access 50 jobs and 111 career pathways in the water, waste, transportation, energy, building, food, open space, and environmental advocacy sectors. Detailed information about each of these jobs and career pathways is provided in a two volume Green Jobs and Career Pathways Guidebook that is included in the teaching materials used by instructors who teach the Roots of Success course. 

Roots of Success graduates have a high employment rate, are working in a wide range of fields, and are addressing environmental challenges and injustices through advocacy and policy efforts. A study conducted with community-based program partners that used Roots of Success for at least two years found that among 1,200 graduates 98% felt they were better prepared for job interviews, 75% found employment within 3 months, and 70% remained employed 6 months later.

In prisons, the Roots of Success program is usually taught by incarcerated men and women who are paid full time to teach the course to their peers and can also be taught by staff. Many Roots of Success instructors are serving long and life sentences and working with the Roots of Success program gives these men and women an opportunity to help others. The data we have collected for over a decade shows that participants who go through the Roots of Success course while incarcerated are finding stable, living wage employment opportunities when they return to the community and have very low recidivism rates.

Roots of Success is the leading resource for education and workforce programs across the country that strive to prepare youth and adults with barriers to employment for careers in environmental sectors and empower them to improve conditions in their communities. The program is easy to implement, cost effective, highly impactful, and provides graduates with industry recognized credentials that are highly valued by employers. 

To learn more about the Roots of Success program, go to or email us at



Roots of Success


Roots of Success (RoS) is an empowering environmental literacy and job training program that prepares youth and adults with significant barriers to employment to access jobs and career…

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Operations ManagerBerkeley, CA8 de abril de 2024

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