How we will create 100 new green jobs for hard-to-employ urban residents
Rock’s Story. Rock has had jobs at all kinds of places doing lots of things, from sales to construction. But all these jobs were short-lived and didn't provide a living wage. Rock knew that he presented well, but employer background checks revealed his ex-offender status. He searched and searched for a good, steady job to no avail. Then he found Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises. Rock was the first employee hired in our newest green business, Park City Green . Park City Green takes in mattresses from around the state that would normally go to landfills or incinerators. It deconstructs them and recycles the component parts (wood, metal springs, foam and cotton) for reuse. “I knew I was a good worker but no one would give me a chance. Then I discovered GBCE and Park City Green. Now I’m earning a living wage for my family and helping my community at the same time.”
Now Hear from Mo. Mo had been without a steady, well-paying job for 3 years and was just getting by with multiple, part-time jobs. It was not for lack of looking that he couldn’t find a good, full-time job, it was for his lack of the right set of job skills that employers wanted. Mo enrolled in our green job skills training classes for weatherization and environmental remediation. He earned numerous state and federal certifications. And now, Mo is a star employee of our Green Team, the first green business developed by Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises to weatherize homes and remove lead and asbestos hazards from homes and offices. “I was discouraged and had lost all hope. GBCE and the Green Team gave me training and a job that restored my hope. Now I'm working at a meaningful job with a future.”
Our goal is to create jobs for 100 others like Rock and Mo. As a finalist in the Huffington Post JobRaising Challenge, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises (GBCE) has an opportunity to raise funds to create new green businesses and jobs. With your help, we can win up to $150,000 in grants to start up another 2-3 new green businesses and grow our current businesses so that we can create an additional 100 new jobs for people like Mo and Rock.
Your help can change hundreds of lives. You can help us win this challenge by making a contribution to GBCE on this website. Just click on the “DONATE” button to make your contribution. Winners will be those who receive the most contributions from the largest number of contributors. WE NEED YOU ! We need our friends and supporters to help us meet this challenge. And help us gain new friends and supporters by sending this out to your own networks of friends and colleagues who want to make a big impact by helping to create more jobs in distressed cities.
You can have a HUGE impact! These 100 new jobs will have a HUGE impact in Bridgeport, CT, a struggling rust-belt city suffering from high unemployment and poverty. These jobs will bring financial stability to 100 low-income Bridgeport families as well as critical investment into the city’s local neighborhood economies. Both will be a big boost to a city working hard to bring about a turnaround through new green business development.
Over five years, these new jobs will bring $4.3 million to 100 disadvantaged families and $2 million to struggling urban neighborhoods. And each year thereafter they will bring $2.5 million to disadvantaged families who will invest $1 million annually in their communities.
Grit, Determination and Know-How. GBCE, a non-profit community development corporation, has been building green businesses in a distressed city since 2009 and has created new jobs by developing two green nonprofit businesses: The Green Team, a contracting business in weatherization, environmental remediation, and deconstruction; and Park City Green, a mattress deconstruction/materials recycling enterprise. Underpinning all of our job creation work is our job training program that focuses on providing disadvantaged residents with life skills, work readiness and job skills to qualify them for jobs in GBCE businesses or with other employers. In 2013 we embark on our effort to start-up an additional 2-3 new green businesses.
The Quadruple Bottom Line. GBCE’s businesses are non-profit green enterprises with multiple objectives:
- environmental sustainability
- social good by training and hiring disadvantaged, low-income, unemployed residents
- family economic self-sufficiency that enables families to discontinue public benefits and helps to break the cycle of poverty for generations as children have a working parent as a role model
- economic and community development for our distressed city and its struggling neighborhoods
Green Business Hub. GBCE is developing a Green Business Hub for shared services and expertise. In the Hub, GBCE's businesses will access professional development and mentoring; TA and operational guidance; back-office IT and administrative support, accounting and HR services; workforce development; and forward-looking identification of emerging trends and market opportunities. Our new green business R&D will reside in the Hub. This package will help our current and future businesses to grow, succeed and create jobs. Our goal is for the Hub to become a center for expertise and TA for similar green start-up businesses throughout New England.
With your help we will reach our goal !