Job training program celebrates final days of serving Rochester’s highest-poverty communities through job training and employment services
ROCHESTER, NY (October 27, 2012) - Hundreds of Rochesterians - who might otherwise face substantial roadblocks to employment - can celebrate today their successful entry into Rochester’s labor force. Program participants of PathStone’s Green for Gold program gathered with community partners and area employers in downtown Rochester to celebrate the final days of the job training program that some say has given them a “second chance in life”.
Green for Gold, a program that began in Rochester in 2010, offers job training and employment services to residents living in some of Rochester’s hardest-to-serve neighborhoods. The program’s focus is on providing participants with skills and credentials that would allow them to successfully enter into the “green jobs” market. PathStone reported today that 389 people have been served by the program, 269 participants have attended training, helping to build their skill sets and increase their employability, and 108 participants have already obtained full time jobs in Rochester. Additional participants continue to seek full-time opportunities in our area.
“Green for Gold has delivered some truly great results for our participants and for our community as a whole,” said Stuart Mitchell, CEO, PathStone. “Beyond the numbers and success rates, we know from our participants’ personal stories of lives changed, that this program has made a tremendous impact.”
For people like James Moore, Green for Gold provided a second chance at leading a productive life. After serving nearly 10 years in prison, James was referred to PathStone where he learned new job skills, practiced interviewing and preparing his resume, and gained a great deal of self-confidence. “I lost everything; I had nothing at my disposal, and there were members of PathStone Corporation that helped me with my reentry into society,” said Moore. He now has a full-time job, is studying business administration at Monroe Community College, and was recently offered a counseling position at St. Joseph’s Villa.
Like Moore, many of the program participants have faced multiple barriers to employment such as lack of education, little to no work experience, histories of substance abuse and criminal records. “Today, we are thrilled to say that these participants are prepared with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to get back on track,” said Velma Smith, Senior Executive Director, PathStone. “And, we know our community is all the better for their individual achievements,” added Smith.
Green for Gold has been funded by a $2M U.S. Federal grant awarded to PathStone to operate the program in Rochester. To date, PathStone has spent just over $1.2M of the total grant dollars. Unspent funds from the grant after the program’s end on October 31, 2012 will be returned to the U.S. Department of Labor. “Strong partnerships and collaborations allowed us to provide more services to more participants with fewer dollars than originally expected,” says Mitchell. The cost to serve each participant through the program is $3,189. By comparison, the annual cost of incarceration for a New York State inmate is $60,076. Many program participants were at-risk community members, with criminal records and a history of incarceration.
Although the program comes to completion at the end of the month, PathStone is committed to working with participants through its other training programs, as well as through referrals to other resources in the Rochester community. For more information on PathStone programs and services, please visit www.pathstone.org.