Take action
Social and Economic Opportunities

Green Jobs

Embracing opportunity in the green economy.

The City’s work to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and adapt to climate impacts will generate economic activity, opening up opportunities in the green economy as we transform our energy system, retrofit our buildings, innovate green forms of production, and protect residents from environmental hazards. New York City is committed to growing the green economy with good-paying jobs and a skilled workforce, taking stepsto prepare New Yorkers for meaningful work – through training programs and pathways to green jobs.

Advancing Resiliency

Since 2015, NYC CoolRoofs has provided New Yorkers with paid training and work experience installing energy-saving reflective rooftops. The program, run in partnership between the City and the HOPE program, has an annual goal of installing one million square feet of cool rooftops, engaging local property owners, community partners, workforce training organizations, and volunteers throughout the process. As of fall 2021, over 11 million square feet of cool roofs have been installed and the program has trained over 300 individuals.

Supporting Building Efficiency Jobs

Since 2014, the City has trained hundreds of New Yorkers in energy efficiency, building operation, and maintenance, which both advances the development of future industry professionals and uses onsite trainings as an opportunity to identify and initiate energy efficiency projects. As of fall 2021, the free, hands-on trainings have reached over 1,000 individual building staff that serve hundreds of buildings.

The city’s green economy has also been bolstered by the Building Energy Exchange (BE-Ex), a center of excellence dedicated to reducing the effects of climate change by improving the built environment. BE-Ex accelerates the transition to healthy, comfortable, and energy- efficient buildings by serving as a resource and trusted expert to the building industry, supporting technology demonstrations and actionable research, and helping advance high performance buildings around the world as a founding member of the United Nations International Center of Excellence for High Performance Buildings. Since 2014, with the support of partner organizations, including the NYC Accelerator and the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, BE-Ex has delivered more than 1,000 trainings and educational programs to over 35,000 building decision makers and has hosted over 90 partner organizations at the Exchange, spurring collective action to create a healthier built environment everywhere for everyone.

Supporting Offshore Wind Jobs

To accelerate the growth of the offshore wind industry, NYC, along with New York State and Empire Wind partners, committed to equip the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park as a new hub for staging, installing, and operating turbines across the tristate area. The City also developed and released a 15-year, $191 million Offshore Wind Vision plan to put NYC on the path to create 13,000 green jobs, generate $1.3 billion in average annual investment, and ensure 40 percent of benefits are directed towards disadvantaged communities. This plan supports the development of clean wind power that would reduce emissions equivalent to taking nearly 500,000 cars off the road for 15 years.

Supporting Solar Jobs

The Department of Education (DOE) partners with Solar One on two programs that support climate education and climate-related workforce development opportunities for public schools:

  • NYC Solar Schools Education Program offers robust, free professional learning to all DOE teachers to prepare them to integrate climate-related educational content into classrooms across all grade levels. As of June 2022, nearly 1,125 teachers have participated in the program!
  • Solar Career & Technical Education (CTE) Program is currently in 14 CTE high schools to expose students to the solar industry, giving them hands-on experience with solar installations and clean energy technologies as well as help to prepare them for professional certifications and employment.
  • The Office of Sustainability is also hosting the fifth year/cohort of their Youth Leadership Council in the 2022/23 school year so that high school students citywide can engage in the critical topics of climate change and climate justice. Their Climate Education Leadership Team is in its third year, working with 40 DOE teachers to lead other teachers citywide to integrate climate education into curriculum and instruction.

Promoting Innovation

The Urban Tech Hub at New Lab (pictured) provides 84,000 square feet of affordable workspace, piloting opportunities, and mentorship to support entrepreneurs working in urban technology solutions, such as urban agriculture and electric vehicle technologies.

The Economic Development Corporation (EDC) committed $7.2 million over 10 years to fund Urbantech NYC—two urban tech “step-out” spaces developed by New Lab and Company to support innovative companies who develop hardware and software solutions to the city’s most pressing urban challenges, including food production, water delivery, and waste management. The Hubs activated over 100,000 square feet of space, equipment, and tailored programming to support over 100 companies and create over 1,100 good paying jobs. Additionally, more than 1,500 students have been supported through hands-on workforce development, more than 20 companies have gained access to piloting opportunities, and startups have generated more than $700 million in investment funding.

In September 2020, the City and the Trust for Governors Island announced a bold step to address the climate crisis and cement New York City’s leadership in equitable climate action: to create a Center for Climate Solutions on Governors Island in the heart of New York Harbor. Dedicated to preparing New York City and cities around the world for climate change, the Center for Climate Solutions will concentrate interdisciplinary research and innovation, testing and development, and education and public engagement in a single physical hub. The center is projected to create 7,000 direct new jobs and nearly $1 billion in economic impact for New York City. In June 2021, The Trust and the City launched a global competition seeking an anchor university and research institution as part of the Center for Climate Solutions.

Take Action

When we bring our voices, our action, and our advocacy to our schools, our homes, and our workplaces, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for the 8.6 million people who call our five boroughs home.

Take Action Now

Explore Related Work