Graduation ceremonies were held Friday for 10 participants in a Prince George's County tree-trimming and landscaping program.
The participants in the 12-week, federally funded job training program, all of whom have been hired in private industry at starting salaries ranging from $10,000 to $14,000 a year, were Ronnie Gatewood, Lloyd Goheen, Lawrence Jones, Raymond Jones, Joseph Newman, James Robinson, Tyrone Robinson, John Taylor, Andre Turner and Walter West.
Before joining the program, the participants had been unemployed for more than 20 weeks and three had not worked for more than a year. Class members ranged in age from 18 to 29.
Training was conducted by the Davey Tree Expert Co. To graduate, the students had to pass a written exam on insects and tree diseases, diagnose sick trees and pass a tree pruning test. Their final exam was a timed agility test in which they had to safely scale a tree.
The tree trimming and landscaping training, offered through the county's Comprehensive Employment Training Act program, was the second held this year. Another session is expected to be offered, but no dates have been set, a spokeswoman said.
Other training offered by CETA is for clerk typist, computer, machinist, English as a second language and electronics.