Published: Aug 19, 2010 10:53 PM EDT
Updated: Aug 19, 2010 6:44 PM EDT

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. - One juvenile justice program is breaking barriers by teaching troubled teenagers skills to help them get 'green jobs' - after serving their time.

Thanks to a new grant, AMI Kids Crossroads (a residential juvenile justice program in Punta Gorda, FL) is one of the first in the state to teach the eco-energy course.

Terry Malloy has been teaching for years, but this semester he's doing it a little differently stating, "Green is where the jobs are right now and in our job market, as anyone can tell you its pretty thin."

The 14-19 year olds spend up to nine months at AMI Kids Crossroads trying to get their lives back in order.

"Most of them are very far behind in school, so that's our first priority to help them catch up," says John Davidson, director of the program.

Students are learning how to set up and install renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines - allowing them to propel into the workforce or transfer the credit to a technical college.