CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES

Representing the 4th District of Connecticut

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WorkPlace, Inc. Awarded $4 Million from Recovery Act to Create Green Jobs

January 13, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC—The WorkPlace, Inc. and dozens of partner organizations will receive a $4 million Recovery Act grant for the Green-Up Bridgeport project, Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced today. This Pathways out of Poverty Initiative grant will provide resources for local service organizations and the city to train unemployed workers for in-demand occupations.  Participants in the program will ultimately be placed directly into employment.

"This investment in training and education for green jobs is a tremendous opportunity to build better futures for people in Bridgeport,” said Joseph M. Carbone, President and Chief Executive Officer of The WorkPlace, Inc. “We look forward to working with our great partners to prepare and link this workforce with the emerging green economy locally."

The WorkPlace, Inc., along with partner organizations, will provide an overview of the core sectors of the green economy to 700 participants. Then 500 of those participants will complete education and training activities in areas such as HVAC, electricity and plumbing; resource management, drinking water and wastewater treatment; landscaping, recycling and remediation; construction; architecture and engineering; installation, maintenance and repair trades; and transportation. Training program participants will earn a certificate or credential that will facilitate entry into an in-demand occupation or trade. The training and job placement program will target disadvantaged individuals for the training and job placement they need to help get them back on their feet.

“Putting Americans back to work now is absolutely critical.  A job is more than a paycheck.  It is dignity and hope for the future,” said Congressman Himes. “This grant combines the right training, the work, and the right long-term vision to help make Bridgeport and its citizens leaders in the clean energy economy.”

The City of Bridgeport will donate a foreclosed home now owned by the city to serve as a real-life classroom for the program. Throughout the course of their training, participants will upgrade the house to be fully energy efficient. Green-Up Bridgeport will support Bridgeport’s B-Green 2020 initiative.

“Working together with the WorkPlace and our local and state education partners, this funding will enable the city to move forward in creating a ‘green jobs ladder’ that will help Bridgeport residents access training enabling them to get in on the ground floor of the green jobs revolution,” said Mayor Finch. “Creating jobs that will stay here and provide a living wage for our residents is one of the core tenets of my administration’s B-Green 2020 sustainability efforts. This grant is a crucial part of our efforts and we are very thankful to Congressman Himes and Senators Dodd and Lieberman for their diligence in securing this funding for the city.”

Partnering organizations include: Career Resources, Inc., Applied Behavioral Rehabilitation Institute, Inc., FSW, Inc., Mount Aery Development Corporation, Family ReEntry, Inc., Action for Bridgeport Community
Development, Inc., Urban League of Southern Connecticut, Inc., City of Bridgeport, Bridgeport Social
Services, Pivot Ministries, Central Connecticut State University, Institute of Technology and Business
Development, Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, University of
Bridgeport, Bridgeport Public Schools Adult Education Department, Housatonic Community College,
Bridgeport Regional Business Council, United Illuminating Company, 5Million Green Jobs, Connecticut
Retail Merchants Association, City of Bridgeport, Office of Planning & Economic Development, Carpenter’s Local 210, and Sikorsky Aircraft.