By U.S. EPA Region 1
Bridgeport, Conn. is the recipient of thousands of dollars of funding that the city hopes move matters forward in making the city a "hub for the new green economy," according to the city's mayor.
Under the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, President Obama in last August directed the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Dept. of Transportation (DOT) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to work closely together to create more livable cities.
In Bridgeport, these three agencies are also working closely with the Dept. of Labor (DOL) who is also a key stakeholder and partner in creating sustainable communities.
Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
Bridgeport was awarded an $11 million grant under the US DOT’s TIGER Grant program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). This grant will help prepare the harbor-side of Steel Pointe for development by funding infrastructure improvements, and will be matched by an $18 million contribution by developer Bridgeport Landing LLC. The project will improve roadways along Route 130 and Route 127 within the City of Bridgeport, and will include roadway reconstruction, traffic signal upgrades, separation/reduction of site drainage, and inclusion of bikeways, enhanced landscaping, and pedestrian connections to the surrounding neighborhoods, Bridgeport’s Downtown Intermodal Transportation Center, and the public water front.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has provided Bridgeport with part of a $3.5 million Sustainable Communities grant, which will pay for a feasibility study into a potential new train station on the East Side and benefit the New York City to New Haven corridor. HUD also coordinates an ongoing weatherization program underway in Bridgeport at the Fireside Apartment complex. This work is being done by DOL YouthBuild students as apart of their weatherization training program. The WorkPlace, Inc. also has students involved in this project.
"Here in Bridgeport we see just how powerful partnerships at the federal, state and local level can be in creating jobs, saving energy and linking transportation to neighborhoods. HUD is proud to be a partner in building strong, sustainable communities throughout New England," said Barbara Fields, HUD New England Regional Administrator.
Department of Labor (DOL)
The Dept. of Labor recently announced $11.3 million in green jobs grants for Connecticut. The funding is authorized under the Workforce Investment Act and awarded as part of DOL’s Green Jobs Innovation Fund. DOL is also funding and organizing a connection with Youth Build which is doing energy efficiency upgrade work at Fireside, 248-units of single story, wood frame multi-unit buildings in Bridgeport.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
EPA announced a grant of $300,000 to WorkPlace Inc., which is working to train workers in Bridgeport. The WorkPlace plans to train 51 students, place 43 graduates in environmental jobs, and track graduates for two years. The training program will consist of a three-week, 126-hour core training and one of two additional training clusters (either on brownfields and environmental remediation, including lead and asbestos abatement, or on solid waste management, including deconstruction, debris collection, recycling and leadership courses). Green Team. Students will be recruited from unemployed, low-income, dislocated worker, or in-need residents of Bridgeport. The WorkPlace will work with local environmental employers and trade unions to place graduates in environmental jobs. The funding, from EPA’s Brownfields program, is part of an ongoing EPA effort to help create good-paying, skilled green jobs in New England. EPA’s Environmental Workforce Development and Job Training Grant Program helps train skilled workers in local communities who can provide ongoing benefits to their cities and towns by creating businesses and protecting human health and the environment.
“Promoting green job creation is an important element of a growing economy, especially in tough economic times like these,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “This EPA Brownfield Job Training grant will help Bridgeport build a strong and sustainable economy.”
"I'd like to thank President Obama, our Congressional delegation and all of the federal agencies that have collaborated to bring thousands of dollars in funding to our City that will help provide training and create jobs for our residents. With your help, and our City's commitment to sustainability, we will drive Bridgeport forward as a hub for the new 'green' economy," said City of Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.
"This funding will help ensure that employers have a trained, local workforce. We are grateful to the EPA for this opportunity and look forward to continued collaboration with the City of Bridgeport and community organizations throughout the region," said Joe Carbone, President & CEO of The WorkPlace, Inc.