The Bronx Pandemic Reconstruction program would create 10,000 jobs by offering unprecedented training opportunities across five tracks. Free, degree-pathway classes at area CUNY and SUNY schools will prepare program participants to undertake their roles:
Green technology & Infrastructure rebuilding jobs that will help us transition away from fossil fuels and improve local resilience (building retrofits, renewable energy, distributed solar), and jobs to repair our crumbling schools, roads, and community spaces.
Entrepreneurship and incubation to create nonprofit organizations and socially responsible businesses focused on the arts, environment (composting and community gardens), transit and micro-transit, public safety, independent bookstores, high tech, urban agriculture, food production and distribution
Child & Elder Care jobs to ensure that parents can work, young adults can become mentors, we can eliminate isolation, provide transportation, age-appropriate programming, and health-related supervision.
The Bronx Pandemic Reconstruction Program (BPRP) would create 10,000 jobs by offering unprecedented training opportunities across five tracks.
The BPRP would include free training and education so that all Bronxites are equipped with the skills for adapting and thriving in the 21st century. The program would focus on communities of color and the communities most severely impacted by the pandemic-spurred economic collapse. This economic revitalization will require green technology jobs that will transition us away from fossil fuels and improve local resilience — examples include building retrofits and renewable energy projects for solar and geothermal power. Last, the BPRP will foster entrepreneurship and incubation to create nonprofit and socially responsible businesses focused on the arts, environment, transit, public safety, independent bookstores, and urban agriculture.
As part of the Bronx Pandemic Reconstruction Program, parents across the Bronx should join with others to form their children into small groups who can be cared for by young adults in the Bronx Reconstruction Program as tutors, after-school counselors, and coaches.
After months of lockdown, remote work, and online education, many parents know that they can manage either their jobs or their kids — but not both. Meanwhile, teenage and young-adult unemployment in the Bronx has skyrocketed as jobs in retail shops, bars, and restaurants have disappeared. With commercial space more widely available as businesses have shut down, these childcare groups can be out of the house but competently supervised by their BPRP mentors in neighborhood outdoor and indoor locations. We also need elder care jobs to eliminate isolation and provide transportation, age-appropriate programming, and health-related supervision. Green jobs aren’t just solar panels and wind turbines — green jobs include caretaking and more domestic activities that have long gone unpaid, especially for women.
The infrastructure track of the Bronx Reconstruction Program easily can be underwritten by existing New York City capital funds.
In the case of grants for social and for-profit entrepreneurs as well as subsidizing green-tech jobs, we can seek public-private partnerships with the city’s biggest banks and corporations, which must step up as they did during New York City’s financial crisis of the 1970s. For elder and child care, we can mine the large pockets of waste that exist in the New York City budget for job creation. These ideas may seem daring, but the city is facing an unprecedented crisis requiring innovative solutions. We are confronted by a public health crisis, structural racism, and poor financial planning locally and nationally. To surmount them, we must face them head-on as a unified community in order to protect the greater borough and city we call home.