NYCHA Creates Model for Green Workforce Development

Better Buildings Challenge multifamily partner New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) offers a model for public housing authorities nationwide to develop green workforce programs, addressing an ever-growing need in the marketplace. NYCHA is using its suite of Energy Performance Contracts (EPCs) as a platform to connect residents to high-quality economic opportunity services, particularly in the field of energy efficiency.

Graduates of Green City Force, a New York City-based AmeriCorps program that prepares NYCHA youth for “green-collar” careers through training and work experience, are being hired to install energy and water efficiency upgrades as part of NYCHA’s EPC program. Program participants install water fixture upgrades and replace all interior light bulbs with LED bulbs, and NYCHA is also in the process of upgrading heating, lighting, and building ventilation systems and implementing water conservation measures. To date, NYCHA has secured $270 million for efficiency upgrades to over 70 developments in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

Green City Force combines national service with workforce development to reduce carbon emissions while providing urban young adults with training and leadership opportunities. The organization recruits qualified NYCHA residents, ages 18-24, for the full-time stipend-paid program that provides training leading to certifications, college-prep, leadership development, and hands-on work experience. Since 2011, over 350 NYCHA young adults have completed Green City Force training.

NYCHA is also expanding opportunities for its residents to participate in the green economy; read more on the Beat Blog. You can see more of NYCHA’s work and that of other multifamily partners on the Better Buildings Solution Center.