City Sustainability Initiative Seeking Applicants For Free Training And Work Experience

April 3, 2017

NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop today announced that the City is seeking applicants for a sustainability and workforce development initiative.

The initiative connects New Yorkers with training and work experience installing energy-saving reflective rooftops. The initiative, called NYC °CoolRoofs, is a partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, the Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency, and Sustainable South Bronx. By developing professional skills, gaining ten weeks of work experience, and receiving industry-relevant certifications, participants complete the program prepared for entry-level jobs in the construction industry. Two 35-person cohorts, launching in April and July of this year, will learn how to apply reflective coating to building rooftops that lower building temperatures. The program supports New York City’s goal to reduce carbon emissions 80% by 2050 (80 x 50), as outlined in Mayor de Blasio’s One New York: The Plan for a Strong and Just City.

“Mayor de Blasio has laid out an ambitious plan to drastically reduce our city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Small Business Services. “Achieving this goal will help us build a more sustainable New York and will also boost our local economy by preparing jobseekers to enter or reenter the workforce.”

Through the ten-week initiative, participants will receive training, 300 hours of work experience, and the opportunity to obtain industry-relevant certifications, including 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration safety certification. A total of 70 individuals are being trained in 2017, and successful graduates will be connected to employment opportunities upon completion of the program.

Since its launch in 2009, the program has coated over 6.7 million sq. ft. of rooftops across New York City, resulting in hundreds of building owners reducing their energy consumption and mitigating the city’s urban heat island effect. The City aims to coat one million sq. ft. of rooftops annually up to 2025 to support the City’s 80×50 goals.

Jobseekers interested in participating should email or may call 311, visit the SBS Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Career Center in Queens, or visit for more information. Recruitment is ongoing until the launch of the second cohort in July.

NYC °CoolRoofs treats roofs with a specialized coating material that allows the roofs to reflect sunlight which, in turn, reduces heat absorption. This leads to an overall cooler building during the summer months. Installations are provided at no-cost to nonprofits, affordable housing, select cooperatively-owned housing, and select organizations providing public, cultural, or community services. Privately-owned buildings can receive installations at minimal cost. By installing a cool roof, buildings can gain the following:

    • Lower air conditioning costs by 10% to 30%
    • Up to 30% reduction in internal building temperatures during the summer
    • Increased longevity of roof and building cooling equipment

More information on NYC °CoolRoofs can be found at

For more information on all SBS services, go to or call 311.

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