Mayor Adams, BlocPower Announce Significant Expansion of Precision Employment Initiative to Provide Green Jobs to New Yorkers Most Impacted by Gun Violence

October 20, 2022
The Commons in Ithaca, NY

Through $54 Million Investment in FY23 Budget, Program Will Increase Capacity to Serve as Many as 3,000 New Yorkers

Initiative Exemplifies Mayor’s Commitment to Identifying Upstream Solutions to Tackle Gun Violence

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today announced a significant expansion of the city’s Precision Employment Initiative, which connects New Yorkers at risk of gun violence with career readiness and job placement programs. The program, run in partnership BlocPower and a number of community-based organizations, will increase its capacity to serve up to 3,000 New Yorkers thanks to the administration’s $54 million investment in the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Adopted Budget, helping to reduce unemployment, promote sustainability, and bolster long-term public safety in underserved areas throughout the city.

“It is not easy to turn your life around, or to fight the climate crisis, but our Precision Employment Initiative allows New Yorkers to do both,” said Mayor Adams. “That is why we are investing $54 million into expanding the program, serving up to 3,000 New Yorkers. Working with BlocPower, we are creating an upstream solution to several downstream problems, including gun violence, unemployment, and environmental injustice.”

The Precision Employment Initiative began in the summer of 2021, initially serving residents in Brownsville, Brooklyn; Mott Haven, Bronx; and Jamaica, Queens. Thanks to the Adams administration’s investment, the Precision Employment Initiative is now able to serve participants from East New York, Brooklyn; Far Rockaway, Queens; Flatbush and East Flatbush, Brooklyn; Harlem, Manhattan; and Melrose, Bronx, with the possibility of expanding to serve residents of additional neighborhoods within the year.

The program — called the Civilian Climate Corps — connects New Yorkers at risk of gun violence with job training opportunities in a variety of high-demand, good-paying green economy jobs, including solar, heat pump, and electric vehicle charging installation, as well as HVAC, energy efficiency auditing, and more.

To date, the Precision Employment Initiative has served more than 1,300 program participants. Roughly 30 percent of participants have been placed in full-time, good-paying jobs, and 62 percent have passed Occupational Safety and Health Administration training. In two of the areas served by the initial phase of the program — Brownsville and Mott Haven — shootings declined 21 percent and 35 percent over the same period in the previous year, respectively.

Eligible program participants are enrolled in job training and offered pathways to permanent, good-paying jobs at starting salaries of $20 per hour or more in a wide array of industries, including green energy, technology, administrative services, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, the youth cohorts served by the program receive training in soft skills, including conflict resolution, critical reasoning, and emotional intelligence, as well as technical and vocational skills.

“Ensuring our public safety and connecting people with good jobs is the foundation of creating prosperity, and this investment goes one step further in making sure New Yorkers are set up for success in the industries of the future,” said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. “This is the kind of strategic, long-term solution needed to address gun violence. It’s a win-win for public safety and the economy.”

“Through creating good-paying green jobs and job training for an emerging, vital sector, this administration is tackling the root causes of violence and addressing the real threat of climate change,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Initiatives Sheena Wright. “The Precision Employment Initiative continues to be a model of how cross-sector engagement is the path forward to solving the pressing issues of today.”

“The Precision Employment Initiative is an innovative, upstream approach to addressing the twin crises of unemployment and gun violence in underserved areas throughout our city,” said Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice Director Deanna Logan. “The program has already shown success in driving down shootings and increasing opportunities for New Yorkers who need it most. By expanding program capacity to serve up to 3,000 people, we are making a dramatic investment in our city’s future.”

“Climate change will require an all-hands-on-deck effort to foster the green workforce we need to transform our built environment,” said Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice Executive Director Kizzy Charles-Guzman. “This initiative is another example of New York’s leadership on environmental justice: Communities that have disproportionately borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution will receive training and access to good jobs to do the work that is critical to decarbonizing our city and create a healthier, more equitable, and more sustainable city.”

“The New York City Civilian Climate Corps is a transformative investment in the city’s future and our shared prosperity,” said Mayor’s Office of Talent and Workforce Development Executive Director Abby Jo Sigal. “This investment is a triple win because it makes our city more resilient to climate change, our talent better positioned for today’s dynamic labor market, and our economy more inclusive.”

“When BlocPower looks at low-income communities, we often see two forms of waste — the waste from burning fossil fuels in local buildings and the waste of human potential as underserved families aren’t being connected to opportunities,” said Donnel Baird, CEO and founder, BlocPower. “New York City’s Precision Employment Initiative proves that vulnerable individuals want to work. They want to take care of their families with dignity. They want careers! While there is a skilled labor shortage across America, workers in our program learn how to operate cutting-edge hardware and software to fill that shortage. They are positioned to lead the fight in confronting the climate crisis. We are super proud of the program and grateful for Mayor Adams’ vision.”

“Goldman Sachs’ One Million Black Women initiative is proud to partner with Mayor Adams and BlocPower to drive our economy forward by creating green jobs,” said Asahi Pompey, global head of corporate engagement, Goldman Sachs. “This program will help create a
more vibrant city by targeting communities at the greatest risk with meaningful workforce training and job opportunities.”

“I’m pleased that the Precision Employment Initiative will direct $54 million for job training programs to communities most impacted by gun violence, including Brownsville in my district,” said New York State Senator Roxanne J. Persaud, chair, Committee on Social Services. “Gun violence is inextricably linked to poverty and lack of access to economic opportunity. We must continue to uplift and empower all generations of New Yorkers living in struggling communities impacted by gun violence.”

“Mayor Eric Adams has fought alongside us in the legislature to combat gun violence. This fight has many fronts and needs all possible support from all sectors,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. “It is not only about stopping those who cause harm and pain to our families but also about showing those who use violence that they will not prevail. One of the best ways to rescue people from violence is to help victims and those at risk of becoming victims by offering them opportunities. Precision Employment is a real initiative, which not only offers new tools and opportunities to underserved communities like the Bronx, but also does so with social responsibility and in considerable numbers.”

“Mayor Adams’ Precision Employment Initiative Program is a critical step towards addressing unemployment and poverty, which are major contributors to gun violence and other crimes in our city,” said New York State Senator Cordell Cleare. “These training opportunities as well as access to employment afterwards need to be expanded, particularly in neighborhoods and among groups that historically suffer such high rates of unemployment, arrest, and incarceration.”

“Too many at-risk New Yorkers want to improve their lives but face disproportionate roadblocks to become exemplary members of our community. The Precision Employment Initiative opens the pathway of opportunities and good-paying jobs, allowing the vulnerable an equal chance at sustainable success,” said New York State Assemblymember Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn. “The city’s initiative proves that we can fight gun violence, reduce unemployment, and improve sustainability through equitable investments in opportunities for those who need it most. I applaud the Adams administration for expanding this initiative and am extremely proud of the 3,000-plus New Yorkers who avoided gun violence and worked hard to change their lives through this vital program.”

“Through the Precision Employment Initiative, New Yorkers receive yet another opportunity to support themselves and their families,” said New York State Assemblymember Alicia Hyndman. “Individuals who are at risk can use this program as an outlet to better themselves and contribute positively to society. This is a life-changer for many who have challenges on finding employment and a life saver for those at risk of gun violence.”

“We know how important good jobs are to preventing gun violence in our city and building up our communities,” said New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams. “For the past decade, I’ve fought for an expanded Summer Youth Employment Program — I’m excited to see employment opportunities for New Yorkers multiply through the Precision Employment Initiative. Good-paying green jobs are the way of the future, and with this additional funding, young New Yorkers will be able to build the more sustainable and equitable city they’ll grow up in.”

“To make our city safer and stronger, we must invest in a holistic approach that includes increased job opportunities for New Yorkers, especially those most impacted by gun violence,” said New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Expanding the Precision Employment Initiative, which has already demonstrated effective results in the areas where it has operated, will benefit communities by improving public safety and strengthening the green economy. I applaud this expansion as a step in the right direction for the future of our city.”

“Investing in community resources and opportunities is key to curbing violence, and I’m thrilled that this program is expanding to Harlem,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “The data from Brownsville and Mott Haven shows how impactful programs like this can be as we continue our work to increase employment opportunities and decreased gun violence. These are the types of initiatives that will lead our city to a stronger, safer recovery.”

“It’s programs like these — that connect New Yorkers with not just jobs, but careers — that lead to safe communities and neighborhoods where families are supported and set up for success,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Our neighbors in Brownsville have seen immense benefits from the city’s initial rollout of this program, and I’m grateful that Mayor Adams, BlocPower, and our partnering community-based organizations are continuing to expand its reach.”

“Research has showed that communities are safer when residents have access to stable jobs. It’s exciting to have a neighbor in BlocPower’s Bronx workforce training hub in Mott Haven that is right next door to my district,” said New York City Councilmember Amanda Farías. “To see that gun violence has gone down 35 percent in an area that many of my community members frequent not only grants my neighbors and me a greater peace of mind, but also solidifies the importance of economic development being a necessary foundation. As the chair of the Committee on Economic Development, we must continue supporting our Black and Brown communities with real and sustainable opportunities for career development that are connected to improving our collective public safety. Thank you to Mayor Eric Adams and all the community organizations involved in your commitment to supporting the economic development and safety of our outer-borough communities.”

“Our city’s government is going to walk, talk, and chew gum at the same time,” said New York City Councilmember Shaun Abreu. “Today, we’re improving public safety, decreasing unemployment, and creating a more sustainable city. At the end of the day, employment and investment is key to preventing gun violence. This initiative has delivered real results on all fronts during its initial run, and now it is time to increase its impact. I’m grateful to Mayor Adams for his work to make this expansion possible.”

“Green jobs are jobs for the future, and reducing gun violence is our city’s most immediate challenge,” said New York City Councilmember Gale A. Brewer. “The Civilian Climate Corps’ Precision Employment Initiative works to solve both problems, putting green job training in communities at high risk for gun violence. It’s government policy that can make a difference.”

“Increasing access to permanent and good-paying jobs is critical to stabilizing communities and ending and preventing gun violence,” said New York City Councilmember Carlina Rivera. “I commend Mayor Adams for expanding the successful Precision Employment Initiative, which has connected over 1,300 individuals to employment and training programs in the growing innovation economy and green economy. As the Councilmember representing the Lower East Side, I have partnered with the New York City Employment and Training Coalition, championed Goodwill Industries Bridge to Technology pilot program, and supported the tech hub at Zero Irving as ways to facilitate connections to growing industries.”

“Our communities are hurting, and programs like the Civilian Climate Corps provide support for our most vulnerable populations to succeed,” said New York City Councilmember Marjorie Velázquez. “This public health and safety crisis is spreading, and we must find viable solutions for it to end. Mayor Adams knows we need these safe and effective alternatives, and by expanding the current program, we will provide long-term solutions through employment and job training. I look forward to seeing the long-term influence of this program not only in the South Bronx but throughout all Bronx neighborhoods.”

About BlocPower

BlocPower is a Brooklyn-based climate technology leader rapidly greening American cities. Since its founding in 2014, the company has completed energy projects in 1,200+ buildings and delivers results ahead of schedule and under budget. BlocPower utilizes its proprietary software for analysis, leasing, project management, and monitoring of urban clean energy projects and its customers are saving 20-40% on their energy bills each year. The company is backed by the world's top investors, including Goldman Sachs, Kapor Capital, Microsoft's Climate Innovation Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. In 2022, Fast Company named BlocPower the #4 Most Innovative Company in the World. For all press inquiries, reach out to press@blocpower.io.