Bronx Program Creates Green Jobs

Published on March 22, 2010, 7:17 pm
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Brooklyn is second with an unemployment rate of 11.2%. Unemployment is a major contributor to urban blight.

Brooklyn is second with an unemployment rate of 11.2%. Unemployment is a major contributor to urban blight.


One organization that is looking to make a dent in this problem is the Hunts Point based Sustainable South Bronx ( This community based non-profit programs includes unique, practical hands on jobs training programs that links environmental clean-up and restoration within the community to career development and the economic needs of local residents. The Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training Academy (BEST) has a wide range of participants, some of whom can be described as the hard core unemployed.

BEST Eco trains its participants for jobs in horticulture, landscape contracting and bioremediation. The program is made up of three, 14-week sessions and includes green roof installation, ecological restoration, job readiness/life skills, power tool safety and wetland restoration. Program participants also receive training in First Aid and Tree Pruning, Entry Level Tree Climbing and Hazardous Waste Cleanup. The program has a better than 80 percent job placement rate and even in a down economy; demand for their knowledgeable graduates is growing. One graduate is currently employed by the New York City Housing Authority and is earning over $40 per hour.

Their current BEST trainee spent half his life in prison due to youthful mistakes. He made a promise to his dying mother that he would reclaim his life through hard work. As proof of his commitment he came to class only hours after his mother died recently. Training side by side with him is a former Wall Street banker. There are also four trainees who are homeless. These are only a few of numerous human interest stories in the BEST program.

This program is a national model that can be implemented almost anywhere in the country.


Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ | - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.