Charles Purboo and David Wolk at the Cohort 15 Graduation

June 08, 2018  |   Posted by :   |   Blog   |   Comments Off on Charles Purboo and David Wolk at the Cohort 15 Graduation»

The following remarks were delivered by alumnus Charles Purboo and employer partner David Wolk for the Love Where You Live Cohort 15 Graduation on May 4th, 2018 at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Charles and David congratulate Cohort 15 and extend their gratitude toward Green City Force.


Charles Purboo introduces Dave Wolk

Charles Purboo’s Remarks

Good morning everyone my name is Charles Purboo and I am a cohort 13 graduate.

I am here today to introduce Dave Wolk, the Senior Program Manager at Franklin Energy. About a year ago Dave interviewed and hired me to be a Direct Installer with Franklin before I even completed my term with GCF. In this role, I go door to door educating NYC residents about a Con Ed residential energy efficiency and performing light bulb swaps. Dave saw potential in me that I didn’t realize I had, and he played a huge role in helping me become the working professional I am today.

Before I started GCF, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I found out about the program through my godmother who sent me a flyer. I was confused about the direction my life was going, so I thought GCF might help me find the right path. It was going to be a new experience for me especially for the fact I never had a job.

GCF helped me to grow by pushing me out of my comfort zone which helped me to learn what I was good at. Before GCF all I ever used to talk about was sports. And I mean any type of sport, basketball, football, fencing, lacrosse, water polo, you name it. So when they told me I had to speak with residents living in NYCHA across the city, about energy efficiency, recycling, urban agriculture, not pouring grease down the drain, et cetera, I was really nervous. I didn’t even know how to properly navigate around the city, because I never took the subway.

Working in all of GCF’s service initiatives, Love Where You Live, EmPower, farming, cease the grease et cetera helped me to develop all the skills I needed to succeed in today’s workforce. I learned how to confidently communicate with people I didn’t know while being persuasive, how to input and track data, how if you show up on time you’re late, but most importantly, how to work hard. I even learned how to travel around the city, from places I never thought I’d go, like Brooklyn, to places I didn’t even know existed, like Staten Island.

Everything I learned at GCF not only helped me land a job with Franklin Energy, it also helped me to be one of the best at my job. I want to thank the GCF staff who helped me along the way. Aram who taught me about the difference between lighting technologies and to never give up, and Stephanie who taught me about professionalism and how to portray your best self in an interview.

Lastly, I want to thank Dave again. GCF helped prepare me for the workforce, and Dave gave me the opportunity to prove myself. And so, without further ado, I’d like to introduce, Dave Wolk!


David Wolk delivers his remarks

David Wolk’s Remarks

The Department of Energy’s Second Annual National Energy Employment Analysis informs us that more than 133,000 energy efficiency jobs were added in 2016, bringing the total number of Americans working in the sector to 2.2 million people. Much of this job growth has been driven by four technology areas—energy efficient appliances, HVAC, advanced building materials and lighting.

In this 2017 report, DOE Senior Advisor on Industrial and Economic Policy David Foster said “Whether producing natural gas or solar power at increasingly lower prices or reducing our consumption of energy through smart grids and fuel-efficient vehicles, energy innovation is proving itself as the important driver of economic growth in America, producing 14% of the new jobs in 2016.”

The solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, and wind employment by 32%. Yet even as the report found the opportunity for job growth in many energy sectors, 73 percent of all employers found it “difficult or very difficult” to hire new employees with needed skills.

In April of 2005 the company where I was employed as the Director of Customer Service for over 12 years closed its retail division and I found myself unemployed. I found a commission only, outside sales position with Alliance Energy Solutions and traveled over the five boroughs and Westchester selling and signing up customers for Con Edison Utility and NYSERDA rebate and incentive programs for energy efficient commercial lighting retrofits.

After two years, I was recruited by Honeywell as the Program Manager for New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program. I was responsible for Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®, New Jersey ENERGY STAR Homes, COOL Advantage and WARM Advantage, and the ENERGY Star Products Programs.

Seven years later, I became the Program Manager for Con Edison’s Residential Energy Efficiency Programs throughout the New York Metropolitan Area, a position that I held for the next 3 years.

In November of 2015, I attended the Green City Force Energy Corps Graduation. Moved and touched by the sincerity and appreciative attitude of the corps members and impressed by the level of commitment of the staff, and the corps members, I kept in touch with Lisbeth and her team at Green City Force.

In March of 2016 I was hired as a Senior Program Manager for Franklin Energy Services, working on yet another energy reduction program with Con Edison. When Franklin Energy Services recognized the need to add to our field teams by an additional 50%, I naturally turned to Green City Force. Green City Force’s leadership team helped us identify a group of applicants comprised of current corps members. Compared to many other outside applicants these corps members were better prepared, more poised and well-mannered. All displayed a positive work ethic, eagerness to learn and achieve, and excellent follow through.

About a year later, we at Franklin, turned to Green City Force once again to add field team members to help residents of the Brooklyn-Queens community by providing energy efficiency services, notably free LED light bulbs.

I would like to extend my thanks to those who have chosen to start their careers in energy efficiency with Franklin Energy Services. Although a few have moved on, most of the following are with Franklin Energy Services today.
To quote Jane Goodall, “…every individual counts, every individual has a role to play, and every individual makes a difference.”

Our original team from Cohort 13, starting in 2017: Anthony Williams, Chrissy Womack, Leslie Thomas, Salonia Thompson, Sharisse Maxwell, Edna McKay, Charles Purboo

Edna and Charles can be seen online in the video Service Year: NYC’s ‘Green City Force’.  They are shown working on the ConEd BQDM Program.

Other hires from Green City Force

Cohort 11: Keith Ford, Wren Rios

Cohort 9: Keith Smith, Shronda Philips

Cohort 6: Bernard Smith, Chynell Barry, Darnley Charles

Cohort 5: Alshawn Williams, Joy Junious

Other GCF Alumni: Jarreau Rice and Jazzmen Simmond

I would like to extend my congratulations to the current cohort with a special call out to two active corps members – that as you heard today are employed at Franklin now—Anthony Williams and Sienna Thomas

Together these Green City Force alumni have installed over 92,000 LED light bulbs in the Brooklyn-Queens area representing about ¼ of the total number of LEDs installed by the Program since 2016.

Franklin Energy thanks all of those at Green City Force with special thanks to Lisbeth, Mara, Aram, Stephanie, Lawrence, Tonya and all the others who have helped make this success possible.

As world famous anthropologist Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

You can meet the graduates of Cohort 15 and read their testimonials on the Graduate Gallery. See more photos from the graduation ceremony on the Image Gallery page.

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