When Green Is Gold
Green collar jobs are one solution to two major problems facing New York City: disappearing jobs and thousands of buildings guzzling too much energy and water. Seventy-nine percent of the City's greenhouse gas emissions come from buildings, and retrofitting them with efficient light bulbs, green roofs, better insulation, and low-flow toilets will mean smaller energy bills, cleaner air, and less sewage runoff.
|Now employees of the Sustainable South Bronx venture SmartRoofs, these graduates of a Trust-supported training program install a green roof on a building at Sarah Lawrence College.|
Although these solutions are energy efficient, they can be labor intensive. President Obama has promised to create millions of green collar jobs. In the meantime, with prior support from The Trust, Sustainable South Bronx has already trained 100 people to install green roofs that absorb carbon dioxide and improve the air quality in a neighborhood with some of the highest asthma rates in the nation. With a grant of $25,000, the organization is adding workshops that teach participants to retrofit older buildings with high-efficiency lighting, plumbing, appliances, and heating and cooling systems.
After the trainees finish the workshops, Sustainable South Bronx will help them find full-time jobs and work with labor unions and trade associations to place them in apprenticeships on green building projects. Demand for workers with these skills is on the rise, and The Trust is making sure New Yorkers are on the leading edge of this growing economic sector.