The Intersection of Building Electrification, Workforce Development and Safer Streets

September 28, 2021
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In a recent piece for the Christian Science Monitor, Jacqueline Adams profiled BlocPower’s work to make New York City and its residents greener, smarter, healthier—and safer. 


By connecting young professionals in communities impacted by gun violence to a career in the rapidly growing field of green construction, BlocPower aims to deliver much needed economic opportunity while addressing the scarcity of skilled labor in America. “When a young person has a job and a future, they do not get involved in gun violence—period,” summed up New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference announcing the initiative. 


The Pathways program re-envisions FDR's exalted Civilian Conservation Corps as a Civilian Climate Corps to address environmental and economic justice, equipping individuals from underserved, frontline communities with the skills they need to power America's clean energy and building modernization revolution. 


A BlocPower Pathways worker installing wifi on a Bronx rooftop in September 2021


Adams covered BlocPower and its co-founder and CEO Donnel Baird at a Climate Week NYC event at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in the South Bronx, where BlocPower previously installed green technology upgrades, including energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, and a WiFi supernode on the roof that provides low-cost broadband to the surrounding community. 


There, Baird and his team joined Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan and other leaders in environmental justice and climate technology for a tour of the work and a roundtable discussion. 


Here is an excerpt from Jacqueline Adams’ coverage for the Christian Science Monitor, “How energy-efficient buildings could lead to safer streets”:

This week, world leaders are gathered at the United Nations General Assembly for Climate Week NYC 2021, in search of unifying strategies to solve a series of daunting challenges related to climate change and the pandemic. The official overview reads, “The choices we make will either secure human, economic and environmental health for generations to come, or reinforce old patterns that are destroying nature and driving societal division.” 
The urgent need for deep cuts in emissions follows an International Energy Agency report predicting that global energy-related carbon emissions will surge in 2021, as coal, oil, and natural gas usage returns from last year’s unprecedented declines during the height of the pandemic.
But at the same time, some seven miles north of the U.N., Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, the Biden administration’s top environmental regulator, toured planet-saving remedies recently installed at Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church in the Bronx. From the church’s new, more energy-efficient boiler to the Wi-Fi supernode on the roof, Mr. Regan saw firsthand the impact of Donnel Baird’s innovative approach to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Read the full article in the Christian Science Monitor

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