Green Jobs

City Career Fair and Courses for Contractors Provide Job Opportunities

Are you looking for a new career? Know someone in Philly looking for a job?

This Friday, December 2, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., representatives from nearly two dozen municipal agencies (including PWD!) will be at the Community College of Philadelphia (17th and Spring Garden Street) to talk to you about current job opportunities with the City of Philadelphia Government.

The event is free and open to all, but registration is required. You can register at the door or here. More information about the event is available here.

Help us spread the word by sharing this information with your neighbors and friends!

Philadelphia Water Challenge Seeks Innovative Approach to Streamlining Green Infrastructure Projects

The Philadelphia GSI Innovation Challenge seeks to make projects like the stormwater tree trenches seen above more efficient by improving the subsurface analysis that takes place before construction. Learn more at Credit: Philadelphia Water
The Philadelphia GSI Innovation Challenge seeks to make projects like the stormwater tree trenches seen above more efficient by improving the subsurface analysis that takes place before construction. Learn more at Credit: Philadelphia Water

Philadelphia Water, in partnership with the City’s Office of the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and the internationally renowned Citymart organization, is proud to present the Philadelphia Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Innovation Challenge.

Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Green City, Clean Waters Outreach Ambassador?

A member of the Philadelphia Water Public Engagement Team teaches Philadelphia Youth about Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Germantown/Mt. Airy. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
A member of the Philadelphia Water Public Engagement Team teaches Philadelphia Youth about Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Germantown/Mt. Airy. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Are you interested in helping communities learn more about protecting local watersheds through projects that make neighborhoods greener, more vibrant places to live, learn, work and play?

You could be our new Outreach Ambassador!

GSI Partners Offer Green Jobs Training Opportunity

A rain garden at the Philadelphia Zoo represents one of the hundreds of privately operated green stormwater management sites in the city. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Creating a green economy—jobs and services rooted in environmental sustainability—isn’t just a nice side effect resulting from Green City, Clean Waters. Green jobs and their economic benefits were a driving force in Philadelphia Water’s decision to develop a green infrastructure solution to our stormwater management challenges.

Helping to meet the demand for green jobs created by our 25-year green infrastructure plan is the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia’s (SBN) Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) Partners group, an independent non-profit “network of industry professionals working to advance the local green stormwater infrastructure industry and innovation in the Greater Philadelphia region.”

GSI Partners is currently accepting applications for a three-day course designed to provide training for professionals interested in learning about how to take care of the ever-growing stock of green stormwater infrastructure in Philadelphia.

With over 1,100 green tools already in place to support Green City, Clean Waters, there’s a real demand for landscape contractors with the skills needed to perform crucial operations and maintenance tasks. That demand will grow considerably as our multi-billion dollar plan expands over the next two decades.

This course will provide valuable training to help meet that demand. Here’s a description of the curriculum from GSI Partners:

This three-day course is for landscape professionals seeking to strengthen or develop their service portfolio in operations and maintenance of public and private green stormwater infrastructure projects. The course features two classroom days and one field day, and will provide landscape contractors with an understanding of the importance of operations and maintenance (O+M) of vegetated stormwater management practices, as well as of the tasks involved. The course will cover 16 sections in total, including: Regulatory context for O+M; Identification and understanding of the components of SMP’s; Diagnosis of and response to performance and safety issues; Adaptive and prescriptive management activities.

Space is limited, and the course will take place on three separate days (August 21, 28 and September 4) at the Navy Yard. The cost is $350 per person.

GSI Partners’ Continuing Education Grants will be available to eligible GSI Partners and SBN members interested in taking the course.
To sign up for the course and apply for a grant, please visit the GSI Partners site by clicking here.

PowerCorpsPHL Gets a POTUS Shout-out

Juan Matos of the PowerCorpsPHL GSI Maintenance Program with President Obama on July 14.
Juan Matos of the PowerCorpsPHL GSI Maintenance Program with President Obama on July 14.

We’re always talking about what a great relationship we have with PowerCorpsPHL, and we love to point out when the young Philadelphians who help maintain Green City, Clean Waters infrastructure enrich their lives and even turn the experience into jobs in the green industry.

But here’s one benefit we never could have imagined: Meeting the President of the United States.

That’s exactly what happened to Assistant Crew Leader Juan Matos of the PowerCorpsPHL GSI (Green Stormwater Infrastructure) Maintenance Program when President Obama visited the city for this week’s NAACP convention.

Matos, a 23-year-old dad from North Philadelphia, is in his second term of service as an AmeriCorps member with PowerCorpsPHL and joined the program in September 2014.
He didn’t find out that he was going to meet with Obama, who wanted to learn more about successful re-entry programs for those who have been incarcerated, until Sunday night.

Apparently, the president was impressed with Matos' bio, which PowerCorps provided. For Matos, it all came as a pretty big shock.

“It was, like, out of the blue,” says Matos. “I had no clue what he was going to say or what I was going to ask him.”

During their Tuesday meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, Matos says Obama put him at ease with a relaxed conversation.

“We talked about what it was like for me after I got out and about my family, and how PowerCorps helped me out and gave me guidance and skills I didn’t have before,” says Matos.

Still, he was in for another surprise during Obama’s speech: Matos, PowerCorps, and green jobs got a special mention.

Watch a clip of his comments about the program and Matos here:

Obama’s words, Matos says, really stood out.

“I was impressed that he was really paying attention to what I said, because he brought up details of the things we talked about in his speech,” Matos reflected on Wednesday.

In particular, Obama mentioned that Matos’ biggest motivation to succeed—his daughters, Kyleigh, 3, and Jaylianis, 5—was something he could relate to as a dad of two girls.

Obama also talked about the value of the green jobs training that PowerCorps provides:

"[Juan] was given an opportunity to get trained on green jobs that are helping the environment, but also gave him a marketable skill," Obama told the audience.

Matos agreed with the president, noting that he’s learned much through the program that will help him when he begins a job search.

"Before, I didn’t know what GSI even was,” says Matos. “Now, I work with a crew that does maintenance all over the city on bumpouts, rain gardens, tree trenches, all of that, making sure they work properly. I’ve gained a lot of skills; I got brotherhood, I got a mentor. PowerCorps is a great program for helping people."

Today, Matos is confident that he can have a bright future. But before he learned how to work with green infrastructure, that future wasn't so clear.  

“If it wasn’t for PowerCorps, I could have been back out on the street. They helped with school, they kept me working. They gave me a real second chance.”

To learn more about PowerCorpsPHL and how they help us maintain Green City, Clean Waters, vist their Service Partners page.

PowerCorpsPHL + PWD = A Win-Win Team

What has 18 legs, eradicates garbage and debris, spreads good will wherever it goes and spends 900 hours fighting to protect our rivers?

The PWD PowerCorpsPHLTeam!

Philadelphia Water is proud to be a service partner for PowerCorpsPHL. PowerCorpsPHL is an AmeriCorps program for Philadelphians ages 18 to 26 designed to address the City of Philadelphia’s environmental stewardship, workforce development and violence prevention priorities. PowerCorpsPHL members spend 6 months in full time-time service, followed by 3 months of job placement support. Corps members work with either Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, or with the Philadelphia Water Department.

The PowerCorpsPHL program has been hugely successful since the program launched in 2013. Not only are PWD PowerCorpsPHL members making a significant impact on the water quality in our region, they are also gaining invaluable job skills, launching many of them into successful careers in the green job sector. Members that work within PWD are paired with supervisors to learn electrical and HVAC trades, building maintenance, inlet cleaning, and Green Stormwater Infrastructure maintenance. 

PWD staff and PowerCorpsPHL members 

The program is a win-win for both the participants and the service partners. Out of the 43 PowerCorpsPHL members that have served with PWD during the three cycles so far:

  • Seven joined Philadelphia Water's Apprenticeship Program to further their skills and advance their professional network.
  • Seven signed up for another 6-month term of service with PWD through PowerCorpsPHL
  • At least eight have found employment, some with PWD, some with related businesses
  • Many others are returning to school to advance their education with the goal of pursuing careers in the water industry. 

The largest set of PowerCorpsPHL members working with PWD are in our Green Infrastructure Maintenance team. They help ensure that green stormwater infrastructure, like rain gardens, tree trenches and vegetated bump-outs, are functioning properly. The current team has:

  • Been a part of 1,108 maintenance events
  • Maintained 388 stormwater managemetn sites--some multiple times!
  • Collected 80,357 lbs of garbage and other debris out of our stormwater systems

 Learn more and find out how you can get involved

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