Executive Director of Youth Green Jobs Initiative Named
Today, Mayor Wu announces Davo Jefferson as the new Executive Director for the City of Boston’s Youth Green Jobs program. Last week, the Boston Planning and Development Agency voted in favor of appointing Jefferson at their February Board meeting. Jefferson will support career development opportunities for young adults who are unemployed or underemployed, in green jobs and careers that help prepare for the impacts of climate change. This program is a partnership led by the Office of Workforce Development (OWD) and the City’s Environment Department, in collaboration with the Office of Public Safety, Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, and Boston Centers for Youth & Families.
“Boston’s Youth Green Jobs Corps acts as a roadmap to provide livable wages, good benefits, and strong worker protections for our young people and returning citizens,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am thrilled about the creation of this critical program and excited for Davo’s leadership to help us transition to a clean, just economy.”
“I am both honored and humbled to have this opportunity to be the Executive Director for Boston’s Youth Green Jobs Corps,” said Davo Jefferson. “The Green Economy is a multi-billion dollar industry, so I am happy to be preparing people for employment opportunities that will not only allow them to earn a livable wage and take care of their families, but they'll also be helping to take care of the environment.”
In this role, Jefferson will be charged with implementing an ambitious training program to move residents into green jobs after program completion. The City of Boston, with Jefferson’s support, will determine training pathways with the most pressing needs and significant potential to protect the environment. The City of Boston will identify and welcome community partners and non-profits who would like to engage in this work.
Jefferson is a social justice reform advocate who has a passion for working on issues that pertain to positive youth and young adult development and the re-entry population. With more than 15 years of non-profit management experience, Mr. Jefferson has been able to lead and manage workforce development efforts, implement evidence-based measurable programming, and create impactful resources and opportunities for the communities that he serves. Most recently Jefferson was the Service Delivery Manager for SOAR Boston, a program which utilizes an evidence-based approach to reduce recidivism, intervene in violent activity, and create pathways for active gang-involved youth and young adults in the city. A native of Boston and an educator at heart, Mr. Jefferson has taught in college, high school, middle school, and afterschool settings as well as in juvenile and adult correctional facilities. Mr. Jefferson holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Cambridge College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Baruch College.
“The green jobs program serves the dual purpose of creating job opportunities for our young adults while protecting our city from the ravages of climate change and enhancing quality of life for all residents,” said Reverend Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy and Open Space. “Davo has the critical skills to ensure the program members thrive in a green economy and I am enthusiastic to work together in this capacity.”
The priority of this pilot program is to support Boston communities that have been hit particularly hard by the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic by creating an equitable recovery and growing job opportunities that fight climate change. The City of Boston’s green jobs program is inspired by the Philadelphia PowerCorpsPHL model that builds opportunities for young people by tackling pressing environmental challenges and developing the skills required to secure meaningful work. The program was designed with “earn and learn” practices to ensure that members enter and succeed in career pathways. Members go through specifically tailored phases, in a field of their choosing, that embed service and equity, as well as direct connections to job openings. The program will also offer connections to continuing education opportunities, including through the City’s Tuition Free Community College program.
The Fiscal Year 2022 operating budget for the Cabinet of Environment, Energy and Open Space included $1 million for green jobs. An additional $3 million with funding from the American Rescue Plan was authorized by the City Council in July 2021 to grow the program. The City’s Environment Department convened a group of stakeholders to create a Community Advisory Board that focused on developing an investment plan driven by community needs and values. Over the summer, the City of Boston launched a request for information on the future of green jobs and shared a request for proposals for catalyst grants for green and mobility job training.