For Immediate Release
October 07, 2009
Environment, Energy, and Open Space
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Blue in Green Initiative Will Build Green Economy for Residents of Blue Hill Avenue Corridor
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined workforce development officials, employers, non-profits, and community residents in Mattapan for a green jobs rally in support of the City's application for a $4 million ARRA labor grant. The Boston partnership of the Mayor's Office of Jobs & Community Services and the Boston Private Industry Council recently submitted its application for what it is calling the Blue in Green Initiative (BiG), a program that is designed to build pathways out of poverty and into a green economy for residents of the Blue Hill Avenue corridor of Boston. During the rally, Mayor Menino and City officials passed out advocacy cards for people to sign and send in to U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis in support of Boston's grant application.
"A greener city built with jobs paying good wages creates a healthier place to live for Boston's families," Mayor Menino said. "As we create a sustainable city, it is important that no community gets left behind. I envision a city where the opportunities of a green economy are available to all of its residents. With this grant from the Department of Labor, Boston will have the opportunity to make this vision a reality."
The BiG Initiative will create multiple pathways to green jobs. The pathways will be customized to accommodate variable client situations, while the green jobs targeted will be varied enough to accommodate both a diverse service population and a labor market still in recovery. Funding from this grant will support training programs that will target green occupations in the energy assessment, building efficiency, automotive and remediation industries. The BiG Initiative will use several effective training techniques including registered apprenticeship, internships and transitional employment. These trainings will lead to industry recognized certifications, and employer partnerships will be built into every program.
The highly competitive grant, part of the U.S. Department of Labor's Pathways Out of Poverty Grant, calls for proposals which will provide green job placements for target communities of approximately 100,000 people who traditionally face barriers to training and employment opportunities.
The City of Boston, working tirelessly to create a more sustainable city with a thriving green economy, will support the implementation of a Pathways grant in the following ways:
- The Boston Office of Environment and Energy will use its $6.5 million Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to leverage $23 million in investments in energy efficiency and alternative energy projects, creating 100 green jobs.
- The Boston Public Schools will continue their innovative School-to-Career partnership with the Boston Private Industry Council, contributing $400,000 to re-engage drop-outs through exposure to the opportunities of a green economy.
- The Boston Housing Authority will reach out to its 2,896 households living within the target area and help bridge the gaps between our housing and workforce systems.