Partners Update: Training the Next Generation of Green-Collar Workers

Authors: ada This letter from Miquela Craytor, the Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx, illustrates, through the story of Penny, what we mean when we talk about "pathways out of poverty."

Training the Next Generation of Green-Collar Workers

100 Trainees in 5 years of Success

Today SSBx's Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training program (BEST) will celebrate its 100th graduate. Since the program's inception in 2003, 128 community residents have been trained to work in the burgeoning green collar workforce. One of those students is Penny. In 2003, Penny made a decision that changed her life. Penny was a 32 year old, mother of three. She was on Public Assistance and working part-time to make ends meet. By the time her children entered school full-time, Penny was ready for more: she wanted a real job, a real career. Penny wanted a job that was solid, for her and her children. A local community based organization referred Penny to the BEST program. During her interview, Penny said that what attracted her to BEST was that this was the only job training program that could actually lead to gainful employment. Out of seventy-five applicants, only four were chosen to be apart of the inaugural BEST class. Penny was one of those select four. Upon graduation from BEST, Penny got a job with the Bronx River Alliance Conservation Team, a non-profit arm of the New York City Parks Department. After three years as a Crew Member, Penny was promoted to Assistant Crew Supervisor. One year later, Penny's position turned into Assistant Crew Supervisor with the New York City Park's Department. Because of the BEST program, Penny is now a union employee with a city job, making $21.50/hour with full benefits for her family. Sustainable South Bronx relies on your support to reach our shared goal of fighting environmental justice issues in the South Bronx. We invest our donors' dollars immediately into our program areas by creating access to green-collar jobs; increasing residents' consciousness of the community's environmental degradation; and raising awareness of the benefits of greening the community. No matter what the size, you donation will make a difference.
  • For $50, one BEST student will receive instruction in Marine and Estuarine and Invertebrates, Vertebrates, and Fish would be able to pick up enough trash to fill 15 bags
  • For $250, two BEST students will receive certification in First Aid/CPR
  • For $500, ten BEST students will receive all the books they need for the 10-week session
  • For $1,000, one BEST student will receive their 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Clean Up certification
We cannot fight this battle alone. We need the support of donors like you to help make this critically needed work possible. Your contribution to SSBx is tax-deductible if your donation is postmarked by December 31, 2008. Thank you for your dedication and support. From all of us at Sustainable South Bronx, best wishes for a happy and healthy new year. Sincerely, Miquela Craytor Executive Director

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