Green Jobs – Green New York

Expanding the Market for Green Housing Retrofits and Creating Quality Jobs

In November 2009, Governor David Patterson signed the innovative Green Jobs – Green New York Act into law. This was an enormous victory for PUSH Buffalo and Erie County homeowners.

Beginning with a rally on Massachusetts Avenue, in which PUSH activists symbolically blew dollar bills out of the window of an uninsulated West Side home, PUSH campaigned for the creation of the law across the region. Since then, PUSH has founded their new energy efficiency program, PUSH Green.

Green Jobs – Green New York: PUSH Green Timeline (Photo credit: PUSH Green WNY, 15 Fingers LLC)

About Green Jobs – Green New York

Green Jobs – Green New York (GJGNY) is designed to encourage property owners to invest in energy-efficient upgrades to their homes, to increase the retrofit business and to encourage contractors to hire and train workers from low-income communities, like Buffalo’s West Side.

Statewide, GJGNY is slated to create more than 30,000 jobs and to support upgrades in more than one million homes.

To accomplish this, community-based programs, like PUSH Green, will take the lead in bringing homeowners, contractors and workers together throughout Erie County.


About PUSH Green

To support property owners’ efforts to upgrade their homes, PUSH Green will act as an energy-efficiency advocate, assessing owners’ individual needs and, ultimately, bundling together multiple projects in targeted areas. Through the PUSH Green program Erie County homeowners will have access to GJGNY’s innovative financial program for green housing upgrades. Under this financial program, property owner’s can pay for their low-interest loans right on their energy bill.

PUSH Green will also work with contractors, building upon PUSH Buffalo’s experience in the Green Development Zone, organizing high-road local contractor networks. As PUSH Green generates new business for contractors, staff members will work with them to identify promising employment prospects, by specifically focusing on residents living in high unemployment areas. PUSH Green will hold contractors to high-road commitments to pay family-supporting wages and benefits and to providing training for workers.

Finally, PUSH Green will help job seekers find opportunities with high-road employers in the green jobs field. It will also open up the networks of job training organizations that PUSH Buffalo has established in the Green Development Zone.

By creating this “win-win-win situation,” PUSH hopes to translate its experiences in the Green Development Zone into a model that is replicable nationwide – similar to the pioneering vision of the Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, which was first articulated in Baltimore and has since become central to movements across the country promoting sustainable communities and green jobs.

Green housing is affordable housing. Creating jobs in the green construction sector is the most promising way to guarantee a national economic recovery that benefits everyone.