New York, July 22, 2009 – Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Robert W. Walsh, NYC Workforce Investment Board (WIB) President Philip Weinberg and Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Director Rohit Aggarwala today hosted the Green Collar Training and Workforce Development forum. The event, held at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, was aimed at connecting potential green training providers to the resources being offered by the City as part of an initiative to utilize federal stimulus funds to train New Yorkers for jobs in a “green” economy. Providing job training for New Yorkers and helping place them in jobs is a central part of the Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan to create jobs for New Yorkers today, implement a vision for long-term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods. This job training initiative is also a component of PlaNYC, a strategy to reduce the City's greenhouse gas footprint, while also accommodating a population growth of nearly one million, and improving our infrastructure and environment.
“We expect to see growth in the green sector in the coming years and the City needs to be poised to respond to this demand,” said Commissioner Walsh. “By understanding the skills New Yorkers will need to work in the green sector, we can ensure that quality training is available as well as meet the demands of the employers.”
The Bloomberg’s administration’s plan to reduce energy dependency by 30 percent by 2017 for all municipal buildings is expected to result in a $2.3 billion investment over the next nine years. For every $1 million invested in pursuing energy efficiency, it is estimated that 21.5 jobs will be created -- 2,150 jobs per year with average salaries starting at $46,500. It is expected that there will be a job demand for laborers for green construction projects; construction and building inspectors for energy auditing; plus electricians for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) projects and solar panel installation. On Earth Day 2007, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, released PlaNYC, a comprehensive sustainability plan for the City's future. PlaNYC puts forth a strategy to reduce the City's greenhouse gas footprint, while also accommodating a population growth of nearly one million, and improving our infrastructure and environment.
“There is much we are all still learning about how the promise of green jobs will take shape in New York City, and on exactly what timeline,” said WIB President Weinberg. “However there are a number of immediate steps we are taking to prepare New Yorkers for these emerging new jobs."
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that nationwide $500 million in stimulus funding has been earmarked for competitive grants and new training providers for green jobs as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. In response, the City is expanding its workforce programs to include specialized “green” training that will start this fall.
“While we are focusing in the near term on target areas with major growth potential like green building and energy efficiency, we know that the green economy is diverse and fast-changing,” said Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability Director Rohit Aggarwala. “We will work to attract green businesses of all types and facilitate green job placement, training, and entrepreneurship.”
Today’s Green Collar Training and Workforce Development event was an educational forum for the more than 200 training providers in attendance, representing community-based organizations, representatives from local colleges, labor unions and foundations. The seminars and speakers covered the Individual Training Grant (ITG) program, through which New Yorkers can obtain vouchers to pay for job training. In addition, training providers were also introduced to the NYC Business Solutions Training Funds (add site), which can help local employers partner with their workers to retool and train enter the green field by paying up to 70% of the cost of training. These two training programs will equip new and incumbent workers with the skills needed for jobs in the City’s green economy.
Training providers were also given a tutorial of the NYC Training Guide (www.nyc.gov/trainingguide), a first-of-its-kind website that provides New Yorkers with information about courses, training providers’ track records and student reviews modeled after the Zagat Guide. As part of this training effort, SBS will increase the number of “green” training providers listed on the NYC Training Guide. Currently, there are more than 4,000 training courses listed on the website.
In addition, the WIB is providing technical assistance to prospective applicants, and has posted resources on the WIB website www.nyc.gov/wib for support. New Yorkers and training providers can learn about these services by visiting any of the City's Workforce1 Career Centers or by calling 311.
About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.
About the Workforce Investment Board
The New York City Workforce Investment Board (WIB) administers the federal Workforce Investment Act funds in New York City and oversees the public workforce system run by the Department of Small Business Services and the Department of Youth and Community Development. The WIB is made up of over 40 volunteer members, appointed by the Mayor, representing local businesses, educational institutions, labor unions, community-based organizations, and other government agencies.
The Mayor's Office of Long-Term Planning & Sustainability coordinates activities and tracks the progress toward the City's ten key goals in PlaNYC. These goals range from improving air and water quality; cleaning up brownfields; increasing the availability of open space and housing; enhancing and improving our transportation, energy, and water infrastructure; reducing our energy consumption; to tackling the complex problem of climate change. The implementation of PlaNYC's 127 initiatives requires the effort of more than 20 City agencies; the help of the City's Sustainability Advisory Board; partners and supporters from all across New York City; and close cooperation with the City Council and other elected officials. For more information see www.nyc.gov/2030.
About The Department of Small Business Services
The Department of Small Business Services (SBS) makes it easier for businesses in New York City to form, do business, and grow by providing direct assistance to business owners, fostering neighborhood development in commercial districts, and linking employers to a skilled and qualified workforce. NYC Workforce1 Career Centers offer services to meet the needs of all jobseekers, including one-on-one job and career counseling, technical and educational services, workshops, and referrals to training providers. For more information on all of SBS’ services go to www.nyc.gov/sbs.