Pilot Program Trains Low Income Workers to Join Disaster Recovery Workforce

Brooklyn-based nonprofit Rebuilding Together NYC has been selected by the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) to develop and run a program that will train local low-income workers for work in the fields of disaster recovery, with the intent of improving the state's long-term responsiveness to future recovery efforts.

Split between classroom activities and on-the-job training, each cycle of this pilot program is expected to run for six weeks, and offer experiences in construction and demolition, according to a release. Those participating in the program while residing in public housing or of low or very low income will be given $1,000 stipends, as well as tools and safety gear for their training. For individuals who complete the course, they will potentially be able to gain certifications from the Occupational Safety & Health & Administration (OSHA) and the Home Builders Institute (HBI).

“The Disaster Recovery Workforce Training Program will provide excellent opportunities to low-income New Yorkers− thereby serving to engage participants in meaningful and impactful ways,” interim executive director of GOSR Lisa Bova-Hiatt said in a release. “Through our new partnership with Rebuilding Together NYC, we can promote the development of valuable job skills, while continuing our efforts to build a better and stronger New York.”

On-the-job training will be performed on Staten Island, with efforts being made to salvage the waste from vacant homes purchased by the state, and to use opportunities to conduct seminars in such specialties as electrical work, mold remediation, site safety, and health and safety practices.

“Rebuilding Together NYC is excited to pilot the Disaster Recovery Workforce Training program with GOSR,” said Kimberly George, executive director of Rebuilding Together NYC in a release. “Not only will we be providing training in skills that employers seek, we will be repurposing the waste stream from Staten Island’s bought-out homes in the process. It’s a unique approach to addressing economic and environmental sustainability in the same effort.”


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