MARCH 2010

Department of Labor awards grants for deconstruction job training

The Building Materials Reuse Association has identified seventeen grant awards which feature deconstruction job training, certification and workforce survey activities from three different Department of Labor programs.

While these grants are intended to create new jobs and encourage recycling, deconstruction can cost twice as much as a typical demolition job. This factor alone threatens the viability of entire projects.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provided a $25 million grant to the State of Milwaukee. The state is waiting for a response on whether or not prevailing wages are a requirement of the grant.

The cost of deconstruction projects varies greatly depending on whether workers must be paid state or federal prevailing wages.

Prevailing wages often make the cost so high that no contractors bid on the jobs, eliminating any real benefit to anyone.

Some states utilize HUD grants but are not required to pay prevailing wages by using new workers still considered to be in training. A training job is exempt from the rule.

Deconstruction contractors must calculate the value of the end-product, including funds derived from the sale of fixtures, building materials and other salvageable items from deconstruction. This amount offsets the higher cost of deconstruction, making the project more viable.

The Building Materials Reuse Association has identified 17 grant awards which feature deconstruction job training, certification and workforce survey activities:

Pathways Out of Poverty Grant Recipients:

  • The City of Minneapolis
  • The Consortium for Worker Education (Bronx, New York)
  • East Harlem Employment Services (NYC, New York)
  • Mi Casa Resource Center for Women (Denver, Colorado)
  • National Association of Regional Councils (Apache Junction, Arizona)
  • PathStone Corporation (Rochester, New York)
  • Providence Economic Development Partnership (Providence, Rhode Island)
  • SER – Jobs for Progress of the Texas Gulf Coast, Inc (Houston, Texas)
  • Southwest Housing Solutions Corporation (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Workforce Development of Seattle-King County (Seattle, Washington)
  • The WorkPlace, Inc. (Bridgeport, Connecticut)

Green Capacity Building Grant Recipients:

  • Co-Opportunity, Inc (Hartford, Connecticut)
  • Latin American Youth Center YouthBuild Public Charter School (Washington DC)
  • Youth Conservation Corps (Chicago-land, Illinois)
  • Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (Baltimore, Maryland)
  • Iowa Workforce Development (Des Moines, Iowa)

Energy Training Partnership Grant Recipients:

  • Heritage Health Foundation (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)