ROCHESTER, NY (August 2, 2012)– In February 2010, PathStone was one of 38 agencies nationwide to be awarded a federal Pathways Out of Poverty grant to train Americans for green jobs. The US Department of Labor awarded PathStone a grant to recruit, train and place eligible participants in green jobs in Rochester, NY, Scranton, PA and Puerto Rico. PathStone’s project, called Green for Gold, serves residents in high poverty areas who are unemployed, have been incarcerated or lack a high school diploma.
To date, the program has served 1,493 individuals, and was recently granted an extension to continue providing services to individuals with multiple barriers to employment by providing them with job training and helping them obtain jobs. Of those served, 37% dropped out of school during or pre- High School and nearly 21% had criminal records. 96% of participants were unemployed and the remaining underemployed.
PathStone has provided job training to 1,082 individuals, achieving 92% of its planned goal. This job training has enabled program participants to obtain credentials that are both portable and noteworthy. In some cases, individuals have achieved multiple certificates-a tremendous asset to individuals seeking employment in the current economy. Training to participants has included: High School Equivalency/GED, Occupational Skills Training, On-the-Job Training, and various classroom trainings in computer skills and green environmental training. The total number of degrees or certificates received is 835, 232% of the planned goal 360.
Profile of Success- Green for Gold
Santos Irizarry Castillo joined PathStone’s Green for Gold program in November 2010. Seeking a better future and greater opportunities for himself and his family, Santos began looking for a job, but quickly discovered that without a High School diploma, he needed more training. Determined to succeed, Santos worked through the on-site training program and obtained the licenses needed to drive heavy vehicles as, well as his certification to manage hazardous materials. Santos even obtained his High School diploma in June 2011. As a result of his hard work, Santos is currently employed by Puerto Rico Wire.
Rhadames Garcia came to PathStone seeking assistance in finding a full time job to support his family. At 54, Rhadames had been employed for many years in low-level, low-income warehouse positions. He did not have his GED, and his thick Spanish accent sometimes proved to be a barrier in finding good employment. Rhadames enrolled in PathStone’s welding program. With hard work and determination (and perfect attendance!), Rhadames received a basic welding certification and interviewed with a green jobs employer in Scranton, PA. Once hired, Rhadames continued to work on his welding skills and his employer provided him with further training. He worked hard to increase his skill level and was thrilled when he was offered a welder helper position, a position which will hopefully allow him to work his way into a full-time welding position.