For Immediate Release
June 25, 2009
Environmental and Energy
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Grant targets high-risk youth and funds training for adults
In the fourth and final green announcement in a week-long series, Mayor Thomas M. Menino today celebrated $300,000 in Empowerment Zone grant funding that Boston received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for green-collar workforce investments. The announcement was hosted by Bikes Not Bombs, a Jamaica Plain-based organization that promotes social justice by providing community-based education and assisting development projects using recycled bikes. The grant will fund green-collar job creation and workforce training for three separate initiatives: the Green Youth Corps, green technician and auditor training, and green job creation through the Mayor's Renew Boston initiative. Each program will receive a $100,000 investment in an effort to help green the Empowerment Zone.
"With help from a number of our partners, Boston is ahead of the curve when it comes to investing in the emerging green economy," Mayor Menino said. "These are smart investments that will make a difference in our neighborhoods in the short and the long term. Our grantees have the ability to give both high-risk youth and adults in need of career training an opportunity to gain meaningful jobs to make sure that we stay at the forefront of the green economy. This funding will train people for jobs that are available today and for careers coming in the future."
$100,000 of the Empowerment Zone grant will fund 30 slots in the Green Youth Corps, a year-round jobs program that allows Empowerment Zone youth to explore green careers and promote sustainability in Boston. The program, which targets high-risk youth, will partner with community organizations, including Bikes Not Bombs, Alternatives for Community Environment, ABCD, the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, and Sociedad Latina, to offer employment opportunities. Bikes Not Bombs will employ four Empowerment Zone youth as leaders in their "Earn a Bike" program that teaches kids to assemble, maintain, and safely ride a bike. They are also working with the City's Boston Bikes initiative and helping to inform the forthcoming Boston bike Share program.
The Asian American Civic Association (AACA) and JYF Networks, a Boston-based workforce and career development training center, will receive $100,000 to fund 10-15 adults in green-collar job training programs. The AACA will train green facilities maintenance technicians, while JYF Networks will train assistant energy auditors and brownfield remediation technicians. Last November, the AACA received $125,000 in funding through the Neighborhood Jobs Trust as part of Mayor Menino's green-collar jobs training initiative.
The remaining $100,000 in Empowerment Zone funding will create energy auditor jobs in partnership with Next Step Living for the Mayor's Renew Boston initiative. Yesterday, Mayor Menino launched the Renew Boston Residential Energy Efficiency Pilot Program, in which Next Step Living will provide more than 150 Boston homes with free, extensive energy audits and immediate retrofits to make their homes more efficient. This funding will help provide energy audits for the program and ensure green jobs for 8 to 14 Empowerment Zone residents. Renew Boston ultimately aims to create 100 high-quality green jobs.
Today's announcement concludes a week-long series of green announcements made by Mayor Menino. Earlier in the week, the Mayor announced the availability of the Kill-A-Watt ™ devices, which residents can check out through the Boston Public Libraries to measure the amount of electricity used by individual household appliances and electronics. Mayor Menino visited Jamaica Plain on Tuesday to announce the citywide roll out of single-stream recycling, starting July 1, and he launched the Renew Boston Residential Energy Efficiency Pilot Program yesterday in Dorchester.