Newsletter: January 2012

2012 Starts With a Bang and Promises a Busy Year


Three new job training cycles for 2012

Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises (GBCE)/The Green Team has been awarded a contract from The WorkPlace under its U.S. EPA Brownfields Job Training grant award to conduct three job training cycles in 2012. The first job training for environmental remediation will start on February 6 for seven weeks. This job training will include lead and asbestos removal, workplace and personal safety courses, and basic carpentry for 20 participants. It will be followed in June by job training in building deconstruction, salvage and warehouse management that will also include workplace and personal safety as well as basic carpentry. A final job training in environmental remediation is scheduled for October.

The Green Team proudly introduces Samurie March-Robinson as its new Job Training Coordinator and Case Manager. Sam started her work on January 9. She comes to The Green Team with more than 15 years of experience in job readiness training, employer outreach and job placement, and counseling and case management. We are pleased to welcome Sam.

Park City Green gets equipment, begins to hire

Finally… All permits are in place. The lease is signed. Phone lines are being installed. The building in Bridgeport’s South End is in the process of being retrofitted for the business. Office equipment is being set up. The heavy equipment, a box spring dismantler, spin tables and a forklift, have been ordered. Park City Green, our mattress deconstruction and materials recycling enterprise, is in the home stretch.

Project Manager Bradford Mitchell and Adrienne Houel, GBCE’s President and CEO, have spent the last year carefully completing paperwork, tracking and nudging along all the state and local permits, organizing the environmental hearing, putting all the financing in place, and incorporating the business.

We thank Mayor Bill Finch for his strong support. The City of Bridgeport has provided a grant from the City’s Community Development Block Grant Program and has helped GBCE steer Park City Green through the various stages of the approval process.

Park City Green is a joint venture with Family ReEntry. The St. Vincent dePaul Society of Lane County, Oregon is providing technical assistance to GBCE with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. GBCE was selected for technical assistance by the St. Vincent dePaul Society as one of two organizations east of the Mississippi. The other is in Orlando, Florida.

On January 9, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises (GBCE)/The Green Team welcomed Shereen Dixon as Park City Green’s new Marketing and Sales Assistant. Park City Green is gearing up fast. Job offers have been made to three more workers who have served their time and are reintegrating back into the community. So far, we are at five new jobs and on our way to our goal of 20-25 new jobs created for ex-offenders, unemployed and low-income Bridgeport residents over the next three years. We thank The WorkPlace for providing short-term job subsidies for Park City Green staff.

We thank our funders

We want to thank Fairfield County Community Foundation and People’s United Community Foundation for their generous grants to support expansion of The Green Team’s own contracting enterprises and our employer outreach.

We thank Bridgeport Community Capital Fund for providing financing to support Park City Green and GBCE’s new projects. Similarly, we appreciate the financing support of s the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development for Park City Green.

We thank Sovereign Bank for its generous grant to support GBCE’s green small business incubator – the first green small business incubator in Connecticut. This grant will help purchase equipment to create a state-of-the-art conference room with web conferencing for use by incubator businesses.

GBCE thanks the Oristano Foundation for its generous grant to support job training for youth ages 18-24 and the WalMart Foundation for its grant to support Get Ready, Set, Go, GBCE’s job readiness training programs.

And we thank the dozens of community organizations that have been partners with GBCE for our projects. We all share the desire to create new jobs for Bridgeport’s unemployed – and to give families hope.


Won’t you become a supporter to help us achieve our goals?

2012 is shaping up as a year of great activity, promise and achievement. The Green Team will be busier than ever, completing projects, launching new projects, and growing our programs and enterprises. All with the goal of creating jobs for Bridgeport’s low-income and unemployed residents.

For every 50 jobs we create, 50 families can become economically self-sufficient and discontinue public benefits. More than 100 children have a working parent as a role model, helping to break the cycle of poverty for generations. As much as $500,000 each year is spent locally, pumping much needed money into local struggling neighborhoods.

We count on our extensive network of friends to help us fill in the gaps in funding for our projects and programs. Can we count on you? Please make a contribution today and send it to The Green Team, 570 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06608.

If you know any friends or family, business, municipal, nonprofit or faith organizations that want to upgrade their homes or buildings for energy efficiency, weatherize/insulate, replace windows, remove asbestos or lead hazards, please let us know.

Your help enables The Green Team to expand our work and create more jobs for unemployed Bridgeport residents. Together we can change lives.

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