Bronx, NY – Participants in The HOPE Program’s Sustainable South Bronx green jobs program celebrated their completion of twelve weeks of training and are preparing to enter the workforce. Thanks to a recent grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), participants gained the qualifications to redevelop brownfields, which are lands that have been polluted and abandoned. By working within communities impacted by brownfields, the Sustainable South Bronx program involves residents in implementing environmental justice solutions in their own backyards through long-term career opportunities. This is the first of twelve cohorts to be supported by the grant.
The EPA has awarded three Brownfields Job Training grants to The HOPE Program (HOPE) since 2018. The grant specifically supports each jobseeker in achieving at least two industry-recognized certifications that qualify them for brownfields remediation jobs, such as HAZWOPER, Asbestos Handler, and Multi-Family Building Operator. Their most recent grant of $500,000, awarded in 2022, represented a historic 150% increase in funding, thanks to investment through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. HOPE was one of four organizations in New York and 29 nationwide to achieve a Brownfields Job Training grant in 2022.
Representatives from the EPA joined the cohort’s recognition ceremony on Friday, January 13 to celebrate their success.
“It is an honor to celebrate the achievements of the students in the HOPE Program’s Brownfields Training Program,” shared Lisa F. Garcia, Regional Administrator for EPA Region 2. “Through the Brownfields program and the historic increase in funding under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, EPA and its partners are turning blight into might for communities that have been underserved for far too long.”
“HOPE is beyond grateful for our continued partnership, which allows us to provide green jobs training and wraparound services to New Yorkers in under-resourced communities,” said Ana Chapman, Chief Program Officer at The HOPE Program. “Thanks to support from the EPA, HOPE jobseekers will achieve career-building credentials that help them build family-sustaining careers while tackling environmental issues.”
HOPE’s grant proposal to the EPA was endorsed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).
“The HOPE Program is leading the way in training workers throughout New York City for well-paying careers in the green jobs of the future,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m proud to have supported this funding; HOPE’s programming will ensure that good green jobs are being filled by those most impacted by environmental harms, and I will continue fighting to bring resources of this type to communities throughout New York.”
About The HOPE Program
Since 1984, The HOPE Program has empowered New Yorkers to build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support. Over the past nine years, it has expanded its focus on the green economy, with five of its six training programs preparing jobseekers for careers in sustainable fields such as horticulture, green construction, clean energy, and brownfields remediation. HOPE has long been a leader in workforce development, training approximately 400 jobseekers annually and achieving outcomes among the strongest in the sector, including 77% job placement over the past two years.