Pathways Out of Poverty Workforce Program Wins High Praise from Participants

Results of a survey of jobseekers show strong appreciation of the workforce training and job-related services offered by CWE, AEA and workforce development partners that operated from 2010 -2013. 

The survey respondents had taken part in the Center for Environmental Workforce Training, a project intended to create Pathways Out of Poverty led by the Consortium for Worker Education (CWE).  Based in the Bronx at AEA’s Energy Management Training Center, the Center for Environmental Workforce Training was organized by CWE as an innovative collaboration of not-for-profit workforce organizations, skill training providers and employers’ on-the-job training. The project was funded in part under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and administered by the US Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. Wrap-around service providers SoBRO, the Osborne Association, Sustainable South Bronx, Nontraditional Employment for Women, and Project Hire conducted worker assessments and provided literacy and job readiness services. 

Participants in workforce development programs can be tough to please —  and those who came through the doors of our workforce partners to join this program were going through one of the most challenging periods ever for unemployed workers.  Thus the effects of the program on participants were noteworthy.

Over 93% of respondents to the survey said that the training was “beneficial to skills they needed for work.”  Nearly 88% noted a positive effect of the program on their lives.  As detailed in the report, many described making real changes in their own behaviors related to protecting the environment.  95% said they would recommend the program to others.  Among those trained by AEA, the percentage rose to 100%.   87% of AEA trainees were satisfied with the job search process. 

To read the complete report, click here

At AEA, we know that our trainers’ expertise and their immersion in the energy efficient buildings industry create value for trainees.  Students are exposed regularly to those actively working in the field, and quite a few participants in the “POP” program were hired directly by AEA and contractors.  But this did not diminish the pride and gratification we felt when we learned of the survey results.

Some 600 participants from the Bronx and neighboring communities participated in training designed to provide a broad environmental awareness, refreshed math and mechanical reasoning skills, and specialized training in occupations with expanding career opportunities in the green economy.  The Association for Energy Affordability was the lead occupational specialty trainer for many of these students, providing an introduction to careers in energy efficiency through its Energy Efficiency Technician 1 course as well as classes leading to key industry credentials for analysts and installers from the Building Performance Institute.  Other training partners were Hostos Community College, Solar One, the New York Committee for Occupation Safety and Health, and the New York Botanical Garden.  In all, 284 jobseekers were placed in jobs as a result of the project, with 194 obtaining green jobs in companies involved in energy or environmentally related services or products.

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