Bronx Green Jobs Summit Maps Out Plans at Bronx Community College for Sustainable Jobs

April 13, 2010 | Bronx Community College

Bronx, NY – Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Congressman José E. Serrano and Bronx Community College (BCC) President Carolyn G. Williams heralded a new age in the Bronx for taking on environmental challenges.

They welcomed Bronx community organizations to the BCC campus for the Bronx Green Jobs Summit. The organizations came together in a difficult economy, with high unemployment, to rebuild and re-envision how to put people back to work and improve the quality of life.

Diaz said he hoped his legacy would be that he helped usher in a new “green economy” for the Bronx. “I want the Bronx to be a model for the nation in building LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified buildings, manufacturing green materials such as solar panels, and most of all, providing skilled jobs that can pay for the support of families.”

Diaz explained that he wanted to build a cohesive partnership that would collaboratively develop a comprehensive plan for developing green sustainable solutions that include:

  • waste handling;
  • water and air quality restoration;
  • alternative fuel, gardens and healthy eating;
  • housing, retrofitting, weatherization and renovation;
  • small business and industry; and
  • work force development.

President Williams expressed her appreciation for the 100 representatives from the Bronx organizations that were invited by BCC’s Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE). “We are proud to partner with you in your mission to build a new green economy, with jobs that provide a living wage for workers,” Williams said. She reminded the audience that CSE offers several instructional programs in energy services, environmental and automotive technologies. The Center is also a leading provider of  Green Energy Training throughout The City University of New York.  “Community colleges have been identified as key national players in the nation’s economic recovery. We, at BCC and the Center, look forward to partnering with all of you to meet that challenge,” added Williams.

Congressman Serrano attended the afternoon session and actively participated in the roundtable workshop discussions.

Taleigh  Smith, outreach coordinator for the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition Weatherization Assistance Program, summed up the mindset of many of the representatives who were in attendance:

“So what are green jobs? There’s one kind of green that matters to just about every New Yorker, and that’s the green in your pocket. Pursuing that green without consideration of the other green, the earth, is what has left us with dirty air, dirty water, food that makes us sick, and a planet ecosystem that is destabilizing.

“And I don’t have to tell you that in New York City, that formula doesn’t work out in the Bronx’s favor. They get their green downtown, while we lose our green up here. Our vision for Bronx Green Jobs will revolutionize this dynamic.  Green jobs will reverse the effect of decades of contamination, even as they reverse the effects of decades of poverty. Green jobs pay wages that can sustain your  family, your health, and put you on a career path,” added Smith.

The following organizations were among the summit attendees:

  • The Point

•   Sustainable South Bronx

•   Center for Sustainable Energy at BCC

•   The Osborne Association

•   Goodwill Industries

•   Mothers on the Move

•   Laborers Local 10

•   Green Worker Cooperatives

•   NW Bronx Community & Clergy

Coalition

  • The Mary Mitchell Center
  • Youth Ministries for Peace & Justice
  • Consortium for Workers’ Education
  • Project H.I.R.E.

Founded in 1957, Bronx Community College (BCC), the oldest of City University of New York’s six community colleges, serves as the engine for academic and economic mobility for motivated students from diverse backgrounds and preparations. More than 11,000 students from over 109 nations are enrolled in 30 associate degree and certificate programs including Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Computer Graphics, Nuclear Medicine, and Business Administration, Digital Arts, Computer Information Systems, Education Associate, Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology, Electronic Engineering Technology, Liberal Arts, Marketing, Accounting, Human Services, Media Technology and Paralegal Studies. BCC’s 43-acre campus, high above the Harlem River, features architectural masterpieces of Stanford White and Marcel Breuer, as well as the Hall of Fame of Great Americans, the nation’s first hall of fame. BCC President Carolyn G. Williams is in her 13th year of leadership service to the College, which is located on a 43-acre campus at 2155 University Avenue at West 181st Street , formerly New York University’s uptown campus until 1973.

The College is home to initiatives not commonly associated with two-year institutions, such as the Center for Sustainable Energy, which promotes the use of renewable and efficient energy technologies in urban communities. The National Center for Educational Alliances (NCEA) ) is currently collaborating with South African Further Education and Training Colleges and universities to create linkages between these institutions and is also working to enhance student and academic support at the colleges.. NCEA also coordinates the College’s global initiative which facilitates global learning within and outside of the classroom.

Bryant Mason / (718) 289-5208 / bryant.mason@bcc.cuny.edu