Special to the Times
Mayor Michelle Wu celebrated the graduation of PowerCorpsBOS’ third cohort. PowerCorpsBOS is a green jobs program that creates workforce development opportunities for young adults, particularly from Boston’s environmental justice communities, in fields that address pressing environmental challenges in Boston. The 29 graduates spent the past six months learning about various green industries and skill sets, including urban forestry and energy efficient building maintenance.
“PowerCorps is essential in our work to invest in our young people, expand opportunity and build a Green New Deal city,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “This program provides crucial pathways through skills and job training to our young people – ensuring that our green workforce is accessible to all. Congratulations and thank you to this year’s empowering graduating class for their commitment to strengthening Boston’s foundation for a clean, resilient future!”
Led by the Worker Empowerment Cabinet in partnership with the Environment Department, PowerCorpsBOS is a “learn and earn” program that pays Boston’s young adults ages 18-30 to participate in hands-on training and provides them with career readiness support, and connections to employers in the green industry. Priority populations for the program are marginalized groups, residents from environmental justice communities, as well as returning citizens, court-involved residents, youth who have experienced homelessness or housing instability, and youth who have been in foster care.
“I am incredibly proud of our Cohort 3 graduates for dedicating the last six months to improving themselves personally and professionally while serving their communities,” said Davo Jefferson, Executive Director of PowerCorpsBOS. “It has been a privilege to witness first hand the positive impact PowerCorpsBOS has had in changing the trajectory of the lives of Boston’s young adults. Thank you to the employer and community partners who have made this work possible. Together, we will continue to provide our young people with these critical career pathways into the green industry.”
“Being a Green New Deal city means we must move forward priorities that fall at the intersection of racial and economic justice– that open doors for our residents– to join us in the fight against climate change and the preservation of our green spaces,” said Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “I am grateful to the PowerCorps graduates for dedicating themselves to learning these critical skills that will positively impact our communities for years to come.”
PowerCorpsBOS offers two training pathways in Urban Forestry (UF) and Building Operation Systems (BOS). The Building Operations track was created in partnership with Roxbury Community College (RCC) and A Better City (ABC). Twenty-three graduates completed the UF track which covers the planting, maintenance, care and protection of tree populations. These participants assisted 101 acres of public land, removed 197 bags of invasive material, worked with 18 service project partners, planted 52 trees, pruned 21 trees, underwent eight hours of tree climbing training and eight hours of chainsaw training, earned three college credits from UMass Mount Ida in Arboriculture, and talked to 78 employees in the private and public industry.
Six graduates completed the BOS track which provided training for jobs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in large buildings by learning skills to maintain building operations at peak efficiency. The curriculum included topics ranging from conducting energy audits to maintaining electrical, HVAC, and plumbing systems. The participants earned several industry recognized certifications including a Building Operator Certification (BOC), Fundamentals in Energy Efficient Building Operations (FEEBO), Building Performance Institution (BPI) Certificate, and a Green Building Professional – Operations and Maintenance (GPRO) certificate.
“PowerCorps has been a life changer for me and led me on a path to a bright future,” said PowerCorps graduate Ricky Bradley-White. “I have sharpened my skills and earned certifications that will help me secure a meaningful quality job. This experience was more than I have ever expected and was worth every moment. I highly recommend this program to anyone who lives in Boston and is looking for a career change.”
“PowerCorps Boston has done so much for me throughout these past six months,” said PowerCorps graduate Daquan Dixon. “Everything I have learned has been a tool to unlock my true potential. I got the opportunity to experience things I never could have imagined. The program has taught me that the tools are there; it’s up to you to reach out and grab them.”
PowerCorpsBOS plans to increase the program duration from six months to ten months to offer participants a more comprehensive and immersive experience and enhance the depth of the program’s curriculum. The new schedule will align with the traditional college academic calendar and seeks to capitalize on peak hiring seasons in the green industry. Learn more about PowerCorpsBOS at boston.gov/powercorps.