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Phoenix introduces green training

DUMBO is so cutting-edge that even longtime neighborhood tenant Phoenix House is going green.

Spokespeople of the national drug rehabilitation organization told Community Board 2 members last week of its plans to institute green vocational training programs at its 60 Jay Street facility.

The residence houses about 240 people with substance abuse problems, mainly from Brooklyn. They generally stay between nine and 12 months.

Fraser Bresnahan, Director of Phoenix House Corporate and Foundation Relations, explained that the move to green technology is a natural next step as part of Phoenix House’s mission to give vocational training to people who have substance abuse problems.

“For 10 years [at Jay Street] we’ve had really terrific model programs that provide both substance abuse treatment and vocational training in a comprehensive and coordinated program design to address the whole picture so people can have both stability and a job when they complete treatments,” said Bresnahan.

Bresnahan said in the past the vocational training consisted mainly of learning such trades as carpentry, building maintenance, plumbing and electrical work.

Now, however, Phoenix House wants to join the city’s push to incorporate new green technologies and trades.

“We’ll start incorporating vocational training in weatherization and energy efficiency, along with the new materials that are appropriate for that kind of trade. There’s also more of a demand for green building and green retrofitting,” he said.

Bresnahan said Phoenix House came to the CB 2 meeting to do community outreach and be a good neighbor.

“We are community focused and looking for any kind of partnerships that are going to bring jobs and support the community,” he said, noting the close proximity of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where there’s already a large concentration of green businesses.

Bresnahan said the facility hopes to start the green vocational training for Phoenix House residents in the next two or three months and they are reaching out to the community for good, long-lasting stable jobs for people who need them.

Phoenix House has one other Brooklyn facility, which is in Prospect Heights.

For more information on the organization, log onto www.phoenixhouse.org.

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