The Northside Collaboratory, in partnership with a coalition of local organizations and institutions, will create a social enterprise-based workforce development program to train Northside residents in fields related to emerging “green” industries and environmental sustainability. The aim of the program is to train local residents in relevant vocational skills that have the potential to offer true career opportunities and a viable living wage. The program will have a special focus on providing “green pathways out of poverty” by recruiting and training un- and underemployed individuals with traditional barriers to employment (e.g., lack of job skills, lack of education, language/cultural barriers). Green Train will serve as a transitional job, “learn as you work” program, providing essential personal support and job development services for participants while creating a positive work history. Using a social enterprise model in green construction, renovation and weatherization, participants will be developing crucial career skills and experience while improving their physical local neighborhood.
The Northside Green Train program will address two critical areas for the city of Syracuse – poverty and sustainable development – by simultaneously training a local workforce while enhancing the urban landscape with environmentally conscious renovation, construction and maintenance. This program will act as a workforce incubator and job pipeline, preparing workers to enter into a variety of internships, apprenticeships and living wage employment opportunities with our partner institutions and local companies. This program has garnered support from and established collaborative partnerships with the Metropolitan Development Association, St. Joseph’s Hospital, CNY Works (Department of Labor), BOCES Career Training Center, Syracuse Workforce Development Institute, SUNY-ESF, Syracuse University, Syracuse Center of Excellence and Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union.
Create a successful local “green-collar” workforce development program
Build a viable, replicable job training model for urban neighborhoods
Establish a sustainable social enterprise to generate program revenue
Address poverty and unemployment in an underserved low-income urban population
Improve local neighborhood physical infrastructure
Promote environmentally sustainable practices and development
Support local green businesses and industry
Advance Syracuse green economic leadership
Recruitment & Outreach
Through internal avenues (existing programs, community meetings) and partnering with other community-based programs (Jobs PLUS, CNY Works, Center for New Americans, Catholic Charities, Refugee Resettlement Agency), labor unions and educational institutions. The Northside Collaboratory will recruit local participants with traditional barriers to employment.
The program will assess participants according to personal history, general abilities, education, work skills and vocational/career aspirations. A personal job pathway, training and education curriculum and potential career ladder will be created based on this initial assessment.
Participants will have a group supervisor, one-on-one mentoring, individual job coaching and access to a social worker. The case management will focus on:
managing and addressing issues surrounding barriers to employment
linking individuals to partner organizations, programs, and other social services
defining and monitoring individualized curriculum and support services
developing successful employment habits and personal financial management
connecting with employer liaison for job placements and internship opportunities
Skills Training and Education
Participants enter a comprehensive training and job development program that provides individualized instruction and hard skills vocational training as well as wraparound, auxiliary services (life skills training, supportive services such as child care, health care, legal advising). The program will involve both hands-on training and classroom training provided by instructors from local education institutions such as SUNY-ESF, BOCES, SU and OCC. The program will constitute a full-time work schedule for the participants who will receive a subsidized wage.
The areas of instruction will focus on green construction, building analysis, energy auditing, and urban landscaping & maintenance. The program will include the following key components:
Adult Education – GED, ESL (English as Second Language), Literacy, basic math
Job Readiness Skills Training – Interview Skills, Resume Writing, Computer Skills
Life Skills – Health Literacy, Financial Literacy & Advising
Vocational Hard Skills Training – Basic Construction & Renovation, Building Analysis, Energy Auditing, Retrofitting & Weatherization
NCCER National Construction Certification
OSHA Safety Training Certification
Potential for NYSERDA Building Analyst Certification
Environmental Sustainability and Justice Education – classroom module on “environmental global awareness” to educate participants in the global climate crisis and see their work as part of a larger effort to save the planet