The economy may be recovering, but you wouldn’t know it in Mott Haven, Melrose and Port Morris, where, officially, one of every five adults is unemployed, a number that overlooks many undocumented immigrants and ignores those who have given up on looking for work or taken part-time jobs because they can’t find full-time employment.

But the neighborhoods of the South Bronx have an edge: experienced community-based organizations devoted to an idea whose time may have come—green-collar jobs building a more energy-efficient, less polluting economy.

Green jobs have become a buzz word, embraced by the Obama administration as a way out of the economic downturn. It has provided $4 million to a union-backed education organization, which will parcel it out to local organizations.

In this special report, the Herald examines how much of that money will be spent, analyzing what it may mean for residents and for the Bronx and taking readers to the workplaces and classrooms that will share the $4 million to teach new skills. We visit:

• The Osborne Association, which helps people who’ve done time in jail or prison to become gainfully employed.

• Project H.I.R.E. at Bronx Community College, where trainees learn construction practices

• And an after-school program run by SoBRO, where young people get an early start at thinking green.

A version of this article appeared in the June issue of the Mott Haven Herald.

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