July 19, 2011

Gillibrand Announces $300,000 Job Training Grant For Fortune Society

Funding Will Help Recruit, Train Dozens of NYC Youth for Green Workforce

New York, NY – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced today $300,000 in federal funding for New York City’s Fortune Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to working with those who have been subject to the criminal justice process or formerly incarcerated to become positive, successful members of society. Federal funding will be used to train and transition dozens of New York City youth who have previous criminal histories and live in communities affected by contamination and brownfields into the green workforce. The money was allocated through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Program.

Senator Gillibrand said, “This is a valuable investment for New York City. Federal funding, which aims to reduce contamination and strengthen our neighborhoods, will help connect our city youth to promising job opportunities and a brighter future.”

“We are honored to be a recipient of this grant,” said JoAnne Page, President and CEO of The Fortune Society. “Our clients, men and women with criminal histories, face great challenges when seeking employment in this tough economic climate. This grant helps broaden their opportunities and supports one of Fortune's main priorities, teaching our clients how to return to their families and communities as people who make their communities stronger and healthier.  This grant will help participants support their families while taking care of our environment so we can all lead healthier lives.”

With locations in Long Island City and West Harlem, the Fortune Society will work with local government agencies and environmental employers on its Business Advisory Committee to place dozens of city youth in environmental jobs and track graduates for one year. New York City’s young people will learn the skills needed to secure full-time employment in the environmental field, including a focus on assessment and cleanup activities. The training program, primarily run by one of New York’s oldest environmental entities ANDO International, will consist of three 280-hour, eight-week training cycles including courses in leaking underground storage tank prevention, innovative treatment technology, and EPA's lead renovation, repair, and painting.