By: Haldis Toppen, Cultural Outreach Coordinator

During the first week of October, CCI Greenheart’s international partners, US employers, and industry stakeholders came together in Chicago for an annual conference for the Summer Work Travel exchange program. Themes that were discussed include: “The Big Picture”, “What’s Your Perspective?”, and “Sharing Best Practices.”

With plenty of beautiful weather and positivity, the conference was a success. As an employer from Chicago stated, “I just wanted to take a moment to drop you both a note and thank you for the great experience in Chicago.  I feel I definitely gained insight into the CCI Greenheart program that will be valuable to us this coming season.  Everybody I met was very helpful and I made some good relationships for the future.  Again, thank you for the opportunity.”

The Department of State’s J-1 Summer Work Travel program allows international university students to come to the United States during their summer break and work in seasonal, temporary opportunities at American businesses. Through the annual CCI Greenheart Work and Travel Conference attendees were able to collaborate and see each other’s perspectives within the program.  One way that attendees were able to see outside of the box was through volunteering on four Greenheart Projects disbursed at different social enterprises in Chicago.

Brent Gasser, employer from Wisconsin stated, “From a personal viewpoint, I can honestly say that the CCI Greenheart volunteer project at Su Casa has touched my heart forever. This work is the most fulfilling of any of its kind.”

To learn more about the J-1 Summer Work Travel program or how you can be a part of it, be sure to go to our website.

Go Greenheart!