Monday, April 3, 2017 

Contact: Nick Benson, SBS Press Secretary -, 212-618-6778


Participants Will Develop Skills and Gain Work Experience While Helping Achieve Mayor de Blasio’s Goal of Reducing Citywide Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced that the City is seeking applicants for a sustainability and workforce development initiative that connects New Yorkers with training and work experience installing energy-saving reflective rooftops. The initiative, called NYC °CoolRoofs, is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and Sustainable South Bronx, a division of The HOPE Program. By developing professional skills, gaining ten weeks of work experience, and receiving industry-relevant certifications, participants complete the program prepared for entry-level jobs in the construction industry. Two 35-person cohorts, launching in April and July of this year, will learn how to apply reflective coating to building rooftops that lower building temperatures. The program supports New York City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50), as outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City, and builds on the Mayor’s recent Green Jobs Corps commitment to partner with industry and labor partners to train 3,000 workers with new skills needed for the emerging climate-smart economy over the next 3 years.

“Mayor de Blasio has laid out an ambitious plan to drastically reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “Achieving this goal will help us build a more sustainable New York and will also boost our local economy by preparing jobseekers to enter or reenter the workforce.”

"The changing climate presents a challenge for our country’s largest city, and also an opportunity to create a more sustainable, and equitable New York City,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. “By combining the CoolRoofs program with free job training, this effort to make our buildings more energy efficient represents the best of climate-smart, comprehensive planning and coordination that the City is doing to lead and deliver for all New Yorkers in the new green economy.”

Through the ten-week initiative, participants will receive training, 300 hours of work experience, and the opportunity to obtain industry-relevant certifications, including 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety certification. A total of 70 individuals are being trained in 2017, and successful graduates will be connected to employment opportunities upon completion of the program.

Since its launch in 2009, the program has coated over 6.7 million sq. ft. of rooftops across New York City, resulting in hundreds of building owners reducing their energy consumption and mitigating the city’s urban heat island effect. The City aims to coat one million sq. ft. of rooftops annually up to 2025 to support the City’s 80x50 goals.

Jobseekers interested in participating should email or may call 311, visit the SBS Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Career Center in Queens, or visit for more information. Recruitment is ongoing until the launch of the second cohort in July.

"The NYC CoolRoofs model is unique in simultaneously addressing our City's economic and environmental challenges, which are highly interdependent," said Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director of The HOPE Program and Sustainable South Bronx. "We are honored to leverage SSBx and HOPE's combined 45 year track record of success to prepare 70 men and women for the workforce and cool one million square feet of New York City rooftop in the year ahead!"

How NYC °CoolRoofs Works

NYC °CoolRoofs treats roofs with a specialized coating material that allows the roofs to reflect sunlight which, in turn, reduces heat absorption. This leads to an overall cooler building during the summer months. Installations are provided at no-cost to nonprofits, affordable housing, select cooperatively-owned housing, and select organizations providing public, cultural, or community services. Privately-owned buildings can receive installations at minimal cost. By installing a cool roof, buildings can gain the following:

  • Lower air conditioning costs by 10% to 30%
  • Up to 30% reduction in internal building temperatures during the summer
  • Increased longevity of roof and building cooling equipment

More information on NYC °CoolRoofs can be found at

About NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information on all SBS services, go to or call 311.

About Sustainable South Bronx, a division of The HOPE Program

Sustainable South Bronx and its parent organization, The HOPE Program, lift New Yorkers out of poverty through training, jobs and career advancement, with programs for diverse careers as well as targeted trainings for the food and green collar sectors. HOPE and SSBx achieve job placement and long-term retention rates among the strongest in the field. Among our programs are NYC CoolRoofs a citywide effort to provide white, reflective coatings atop buildings in order to promote energy efficiency and Intervine, an environmental social enterprise that creates transitional green jobs to training graduates, who gain valuable job experience while simultaneously earning income.