Earth Day: Mayor, Building Construction Trades Council Launch First NYC Green Jobs Corps Training Opportunities

April 22, 2017

Effort supports City’s OneNYC plan to reduce greenhouse gases by 80% by 2050 & create 3,000 good-paying jobs

NEW YORK—In celebration of Earth Day and to further bolster an emerging green economy, Mayor de Blasio and the Building Construction Trades Council (BCTC) announced an agreement to launch the first class of pre-apprenticeships available through the NYC Green Jobs Corps. The NYC Green Jobs Corps was first announced by the Mayor during his 2017 State of the City address. This new partnership with the BCTC and its members under the NYC Green Jobs Corps is necessary to deliver on the Mayor’s commitment to train 3,000 workers with new skills needed for the emerging green economy over the next three years.

“This Earth Day, we’re making a statement: fighting climate change and creating good-paying jobs go hand-in-hand,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The NYC Green Jobs Corps will support the training of 3,000 workers who will be instrumental in making this a cleaner and better city. New Yorkers are working together to help realize our shared vision for a more sustainable, resilient and just city.”

“This collaboration with the Mayor’s office will help provide New Yorkers with good paying jobs and middle-class opportunities in the construction trades industry," said Gary LaBarbera, President of the 100,000 member Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York. "The NYC Green Jobs Corps builds on the Building Trades job training successes, such as the Construction Skills Program, and we look forward to working with the administration in offering greater opportunity to build a better and more sustainable city."

New Yorkers can sign up through SBS Workforce1 to be screened for construction trade opportunities starting today. This initial phase of the program will identify the first two hundred candidates eligible for pre-apprentice classes taught this summer, following assessment and referral by SBS Workforce1. The City has committed to financially support these trainings through SBS.

The New York City Green Jobs Corps is modeled after the successful Build It Back and Sandy Recovery Workforce1 efforts to engage New Yorkers impacted by Hurricane Sandy in rebuilding their neighborhoods. In total, 1,400 Sandy-impacted New Yorkers received jobs through Build It Back and Sandy Recovery Workforce1. Build It Back has hired 950 Sandy impacted residents across the program at an average wage of $30 per hour. 22 percent of all tradespeople hired by the program are Sandy-impacted residents. Sandy Recovery Workforce1 has placed 450 people with employment, and among these individuals 135 people were placed with unions through a pre-apprenticeship program.

Today’s announcement is an important first step in opening doors for New Yorkers to enter the building construction trades and access pathways to a good career. The NYC Green Jobs Corps will develop the workforce needed to meet the Mayor’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050 (80 x 50).  Among the biggest green job skill needs to meet this goal, is retrofitting the city’s one million buildings for greater energy efficiency. The City’s buildings, including municipal buildings, contribute approximately two-thirds of the city’s emissions. The City has previously announced up to $2.6 billion in work on municipal buildings retrofits.

Earlier this week, as part of the lead up to Earth Day, Mayor de Blasio announced significant new progress on solar energy investments, new support for electric vehicles, cleanup of brownfields, and progress on the City’s OneNYC program, all of which demonstrate an expanded commitment to reaching 80 x 50, while creating a growing need for green job skills and to meet that demand, and will require continued partnership with BCTC.

Recognizing that climate change is an existential threat for the city, and that we must meet goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050, the NYC Green Jobs Corps is meant to provide the necessary apparatus to train New Yorkers who want to be part of a growing field, while helping deliver on the City’s ambitious OneNYC goals of creating a more just, more resilient, and more sustainable city.

“Winning the fight against climate change will require an equally important effort to bring more New Yorkers into the green economy, creating pathways to good-paying construction jobs,” said Daniel Zarrilli, Senior Director of Climate Policy & Programs and Chief Resilience Officer in the NYC Mayor’s Office. “Today, we’re thrilled to take the next step in that effort by launching the first phase of our NYC Green Jobs Corps.  In partnership with the Building Construction Trades Council, we will train New Yorkers starting this summer to participate in the transformation of our buildings to a low-carbon future.  These opportunities can change lives – part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC program to build a stronger and more just city."

“By employing jobseekers citywide, we can achieve Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ambitious goal to reduce the city’s emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “We’re opening doors for New Yorkers to learn new skills and join a growing economy here in New York City.”

“Rising sea levels and a changing climate will threaten New York City’s future if we don’t act now to build more resilient communities and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases,” said Jainey Bavishi, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency. “We are thrilled to partner with BCTC to create this direct pathway for New Yorkers to gain training and opportunities to participate in the next generation of green jobs, and help us deliver on our ambitious OneNYC goals.”

"The NYC Green Job Corps is a critical step that will help industry build capacity and pivot towards the shared vision of a sustainable, thriving and just city," said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. "As we work to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect New York City from a changing climate, we must also build a bold, new workforce to meet this great challenge.”

“The job training Sandy-impacted residents received through Build It Back and Sandy Recovery Workforce1 transforms lives.  Hundreds of New Yorkers now enjoy higher wages and medical benefits they didn’t have before. With the launch of the Green Jobs Corps, thousands more will gain access to good jobs while helping to reduce our carbon footprint and make our air cleaner,” said Amy Peterson, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Recovery Operations.

“The Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development is excited to collaborate in launching the Green Jobs Corps. As part of WKDEV’s mission to connect Economic Development to local jobseekers, Green Jobs Corps offers an opportunity for New Yorkers to be trained for good paying jobs in the green economy while creating pathways into the trades,” said Barbara Chang, Executive Director, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development.

 “What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to take real steps forward that create good-paying jobs and help combat the real threat of climate change to our city,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “For the sake of our children and future generations, we have an important responsibility to make our city’s buildings and infrastructure more energy efficient and to do all we can to lower toxic emissions that drive global warming. Today in Long Island City with the announcement of the first phrase of the Green Jobs Corps, we begin to build a trained workforce that will help us realize a more sustainable city.”

“This new initiative is a first of its kind and national model that will put NYC in the forefront of meeting the highest of environmental standards, creating new good jobs for New Yorkers and  save taxpayers money by reducing construction costs all at the same time,” said Louis Coletti, Building Trades Employers' Association of New York City.

“Construction Skills is proud of its proven record of successfully preparing New York City public high school seniors for direct entry into unionized apprenticeship programs. Now, with the City’s investment in the Green Jobs Corps, our program will expand to provide our apprenticeship readiness training and direct entry access to adult residents. We are honored to be a part of this initiative and look forward to working with the City to provide meaningful, high-wage career opportunities in the unionized construction industry to these residents,” said Nicole Bertran, Executive Vice President of The Edward J. Malloy Initiative for Construction Skills.

Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) is thrilled to support the Green Job Corps Initiative, which promises an opportunity not just to make New York City more sustainable, but also to bolster the economic prospects of women across our City. NEW will provide training for these well-paying green careers, transforming women’s lives and the lives of their families through meaningful work that provides equitable wages in the industries that build, move, power, and of course, green, New York,” said Kathleen Culhane, President, Nontraditional Employment for Women.

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