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Darcy Hector – Queens Botanical Garden
718-886-3800, ext. 330

Natalia Argüello – NYDesigns, LaGuardia Community College


Queens, NY – June 6, 2013 – The Green Jobs Training Program, a collaborative workforce development initiative of Queens Botanical Garden and LaGuardia Community College announced today that the successful completion of its 14th class will be marked by a graduation ceremony for 26 students at 3:00 on June 14, 2013.  To date, this program has graduated 367 participants, 217 of whom are now fully employed, an impressive 63% success rate.   

Queens Botanical Garden and LaGuardia Community College have responded to current high unemployment rates and the growing need for sustainable practices in our workplaces with the Green Jobs Training Program.  The two institutions have collaborated to develop a program that prepares individuals to work in companies that have or want to develop green practices.  Funding from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to Queens Botanical Garden supports this workforce development initiative.  The Council for Airport Opportunity is also partnering on this program.  

The program, which targets those who are unemployed and underemployed, introduces basic concepts of sustainability and provides the necessary skills to work in the following areas:

•    Green Cleaning & Housekeeping: Participants acquire necessary skills to maintain a high indoor environmental quality to protect the health of building occupants through proper and environmentally sustainable cleaning practices.
•    Waste Management: Participants explore appropriate strategies for waste reduction; safety and efficiency in handling and processing; source separation for material reclamation and recycling; and proper disposal.
•    Sustainable Landscape Design & Maintenance: Participants review the basics of sustainable landscape design, plant selection, soil conservation and remediation techniques, Integrated Pest Management, and urban agriculture.

The Green Jobs training Program also assists participants in building job readiness skills, prepares them to apply for green jobs, and connects them with employers.

“Our goal is to empower trainees to enter the green workforce with the ability to grow as technology and demand evolves” commented Patty Kleinberg, who directs the Green Jobs Training Program at QBG.

To get a handle on the green jobs market, program staff uses software that gathers up-to-date information on hiring trends and job requirements, which informs them on specific job opportunities and the skills employers are looking for.

“The Program gives participants an edge in the workforce by taking their existing skill set and applying the principles of sustainability”, says Kate Kitchener, Sustainability Coordinator of the G.J.T.P. at LaGuardia Community College.  “This makes them very marketable in a rapidly changing labor market.”
Companies that have hired G.J. graduates include waste management industry leaders Sims Metal Management and Waste Management Inc.; Facility Value Inc.; Greenhouse Eco-Cleaning, and City Gardens of New York.  In addition, Dynamic Solar Panels and Family Energy Inc., green energy companies, have also drawn upon the program to hire employees.

•     •     •     •
Members of the press are cordially invited to attend the Graduation of the 14th class of Green Jobs program participants to be held Friday, June 14 at 3:00 pm in the Visitor & Administration Building at Queens Botanical Garden.  

Queens Botanical Garden is an urban oasis where people, plants and cultures are celebrated through inspiring gardens, innovative educational programs and demonstrations of environmental stewardship. Located at 43-50 Main Street in Flushing, Queens Botanical Garden is easily accessible by car, train, or bus. For travel directions and more information visit or call (718) 886-3800. Queens Botanical Garden is located on property owned by the City of New York, and its operation is made possible in part by public funds provided through the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

LaGuardia Community College located in Long Island City, Queens, was founded in 1971 as a bold experiment in opening the doors of higher education to all, and we proudly carry forward that legacy today. LaGuardia educates students through over 50 degree, certificate and continuing education programs, providing an inspiring place for students to achieve their dreams. Upon graduation, LaGuardia students’ lives are transformed as family income increases 17%, and students transfer to four-year colleges at three times the national average. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), LaGuardia is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges for boundary-breaking success educating underserved students. At LaGuardia we imagine new ideas, create new curriculum and pioneer programs to make our community and our country stronger. Visit to learn more.




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