New York City Taps BlocPower to Lead 1,500 Job, $37MM Climate Tech Workforce Program

September 15, 2021
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The initiative will focus on neighborhoods in the city most at risk of gun violence, addressing issues of crime alongside environmental and economic justice

BlocPower co-founder and CEO Donnel Baird participated in a joint press conference with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to announce a plan to bring 1,500 green jobs to New York City communities hardest hit by gun violence. 


By offering a career pathway in the rapidly growing fields of clean energy technology and building modernization, the program aims to help keep individuals and their families safe by providing long term economic opportunity. 


The initiative is part of BlocPower’s Pathways program. 


Joint Press Conference Between BlocPower co-founder and CEO Donnel Baird and Mayor Bill de Blasio:


Selected Remarks from Mayor de Blasio: 

“Today we announce a jobs program, an anti-violence jobs program, a targeted jobs program to make sure that young people who need another path have it. We are focusing on neighborhoods hardest hit by gun violence.” 

“Every single person we divert to a positive path helps all of us...they’re not just jobs, they’re good paying jobs, they’re green jobs, they’re jobs with a future. We are working with a great, Brooklyn-based climate technology startup BlocPower. This is a wonderful firm doing amazing work, that’s socially conscious, that’s trying to solve multiple problems at once through their work.”

“When a young person has a job and a future, they do not get involved in gun violence—period.” 

Selected Remarks from Donnel Baird:

“Right now, in the four or five lowest income communities in New York City, young people who are at risk of gun violence are at work. We have a team in Queens right now, helping to dig out a homeowner where her home’s been flooded. In the South Bronx we’re installing a community-owned internet system, so that up to 2MM low income families have free access to the internet…We have workers in this program who are in Brooklyn visiting buildings that burn oil or gas, where we’re going to move those buildings from burning oil or gas to 100% clean electricity.” 

“America doesn’t have the highly skilled construction workers that it needs to build new homes and to get infrastructure investments built out. Through this program we are going into the lowest income communities, where folks are at risk of gun violence—personally, their families, their communities—we’re training them on the latest greatest software to install green infrastructure in urban environments, in rural environments.” 

“That’s going to solve not only crime rates in low-income communities in New York City, not only is it going to create economic opportunity and solve the wealth inequality crisis we’re experiencing in America, not only is it going to help communities respond to the covid pandemic and high unemployment rates, but we also know it's’ going to solve the business problem of the shortage of skilled construction workers across America.” 

Learn more about BlocPower Pathways

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Press Release from the Office of the Mayor:


Mayor de Blasio Launches $37 Million Violence Intervention Employment Program

September 15, 2021


Partnering with green jobs innovator BlocPower will provide 1,500 jobs for at-risk residents in Brownsville, South Jamaica, East and Central Harlem, Mott Haven, and across the Bronx 


NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced a new $37 million violence intervention employment program that will create 1,500 jobs in Brownsville, South Jamaica, East and Central Harlem, Mott Haven, and across the Bronx. The initiative connects individuals at risk of involvement in gun violence with good-paying green jobs in partnership with BlocPower, a Brooklyn-based climate technology startup working to make American cities greener, smarter, and healthier. 


“A recovery for all of us does not exist unless each and every New Yorker feels safe,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “By providing training and employment opportunities to those at risk of gun violence, we can stop violence before it happens and invest in safer communities.”


The precision employment program focuses on communities experiencing 50% or more of shootings citywide, with explicit interest in those most vulnerable in these neighborhoods. The first wave of hiring will include over 200 residents from neighborhoods facing disproportionate levels of gun violence. Working with local community organizations, referred individuals identified as at-risk in Brownsville, Brooklyn; Mott Haven in the Bronx; and South Jamaica, Queens will receive hard and soft skills training to prepare them for successful employment before getting matched with placements at various job sites.


The hybrid training curriculum includes OSHA training, classes on important business communication and technical skills, conflict resolution strategies, de-escalation techniques, and access to culturally competent, trauma-based counseling and other wrap-around services. These trainings will help ensure the successful integration of participants into a workforce environment. 


Read the full press release here. 


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