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Youth green jobs training program announced

The partnership will expand workforce development for young adults and returning citizens in fields that address environmental challenges.

Mayor Kim Janey today announced a partnership to provide career development opportunities for young people who are unemployed or underemployed, in green jobs and careers that help prepare for the impacts of climate change. This partnership will be led by the City’s Environment Department and Office of Workforce Development, in collaboration with the Office of Public Safety, Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families. The initiative will be championed by the Green Jobs Community Advisory Board, a group of public and private leaders in business, education, and workforce development, committed to expanding green career opportunities for Boston youth and residents. 

“I have spent the majority of my career advocating for equity and opportunity for Boston’s youth,” said Mayor Janey. “The green jobs program serves the dual purpose of creating job opportunities for our young people while protecting our city and enhancing quality of life for all residents. I am proud of the creation of this pilot and I look forward to seeing how all of its members grow and succeed in the green economy.” 

The priority of this pilot program is to support Boston communities that have been hit particularly hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating an equitable recovery and growing job opportunities that fight climate change. The City of Boston’s green jobs program is inspired by the Philadelphia PowerCorpsPHL model that builds opportunities for young people by tackling pressing environmental challenges and developing the skills required to secure meaningful work. The program was designed with “earn and learn” practices to ensure that members enter and succeed in career pathways. Members go through specifically tailored phases, in a field of their choosing, that embed service and equity, as well as direct connections to job openings. The program will also offer connections to continuing education opportunities, including through the City’s Tuition Free Community College program.

“Climate change poses significant threats to Boston residents like sea level rise, extreme heat and air pollution. Yet, it presents us with an opportunity to create meaningful work to combat these issues for many of our most vulnerable residents,” said Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “Our new green jobs partnership will empower disconnected young adults and returning citizens through developing critical skills that will make our city more resilient.”  

“Investing in green jobs for our residents is a triple win for Boston,” said Trinh Nguyen, Director of the Office of Workforce Development. “It means we are supporting skills training and careers for residents, having the City as a critical employer partner, and helping us reach our environmental goals.” 

Over the coming months, the City of Boston will identify and hire an Executive Director charged with implementing an ambitious training program to move residents into green jobs after program completion. With support from the Executive Director, the City of Boston will determine training pathways with the most pressing needs and significant potential to protect the environment. The City of Boston will identify and welcome community partners and non-profits who would like to engage in this work. 

“Boston is definitely putting its best foot forward with this initiative,” said Kevin McCaskill of Boston Public Schools and the Green Jobs Community Advisory Board. “Providing access to green career opportunities for our underrepresented youth will be a community benefit.”

This initiative builds on the Janey Administration’s commitment to protecting the environment and growing opportunities in the green economy. The Fiscal Year 2022 operating budget for the Cabinet of Environment, Energy and Open Space included $1 million for green jobs. An additional $3 million with funding from the American Rescue Plan was authorized by the City Council in July 2021 to grow the program. The City’s Environment Department convened a group of stakeholders to create a Community Advisory Board that focused on developing an investment plan driven by community needs and values. This summer, the City of Boston launched a request for information on the future of green jobs and shared a request for proposals for catalyst grants for green and mobility job training.  

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