Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced that the City Cleanup Corps (CCC) has removed more than one million bags of trash citywide, among other recent milestones and expansions, since the program’s launch in April 2021.
The New Deal-inspired economic recovery initiative supports communities, businesses, and tourism by refreshing and revitalizing public spaces. As of December 20, 2021, CCC members had hand-swept nearly 70,000 block faces, maintained more than 40,000 rain gardens, planted over 10,000 plants across the five boroughs, and painted over 630 properties that had been defaced with graffiti.
“To build a recovery for all New Yorkers, we knew that supporting our city's workforce, helping people get back on their feet, and revitalizing our public spaces were critical,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “That was a shared vision across the City agencies, community-based organizations, and elected officials who have participated in the City Cleanup Corps, and that vision has been realized through the tremendous work of the over 10,000 Corps members across the five boroughs. We thank the CCC and our partners for helping beautify New York City and leading the nation's economic recovery."
Among the latest City Cleanup Corps program milestones and expansions are:
- A partnership with the New York City Day Laborer Coalition to expand access to hands-on work experience and training for low-income workers;
- New programs, Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC) and Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G), to support and invest in young adults; and,
- The completion of 21 public art projects through BeautifyNYC to revitalize neighborhoods and empower communities.
“When we launched the City Cleanup Corps in April, we had clear goals to expand access to work experience and training for New Yorkers, and to restore and refresh our public spaces,” said Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives J. Phillip Thompson. “Today, we celebrate program expansions that build on those goals, and milestones that demonstrate the positive impact the Corps has had on our communities and will continue to have on the careers of Corps members, low-wage workers, and youth.”
“Since its inception during an unprecedented time in our City's history, the City Cleanup Corps has been a truly unique and effective team effort thanks to our partnership with more than two dozen City agencies and community-based organizations,” said Acting Director of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development Chris Neale who leads the City Cleanup Corps. “These milestones and expansions are a testament to the collaboration and determination of Corps partners and members to serve our communities. We look forward to continuing our work to empower our Corps members with hands-on experience and training to prepare them for successful careers.”
Through the collaboration of more than two dozen City agencies and community-based organizations, members of the CCC tend to the needs of neighborhoods by hand-sweeping public spaces, cleaning defaced properties, power-washing sidewalks, tending to green spaces, and creating community murals, among other efforts to help bolster New York City’s economy. Since its inception, the CCC has employed more than 10,000 New Yorkers, and after surpassing this hiring goal, the program is supporting the extension of existing CCC members’ tenures through the end of Fiscal Year 2021, alongside the latest program expansions.
Partnership with NYC Day Laborer Coalition to Expand Access to Hands-on Work Experience and Training for Low-Income Workers
Through a partnership with the New York City Day Laborer Coalition and the New York City Council, low-income workers will receive compensated training and work experience in cleaning, community gardening, and landscaping in partnership with community-based organizations and local businesses. The NYC Day Laborer Coalition is composed of community-based organizations New Immigrant Community Empowerment, Third Sector New England/Worker’s Justice Project, Staten Island Community Job Center - La Colmena, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, and Catholic Charities Community Services, Archdiocese of New York. These organizations were collectively allocated nearly $3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding under the Speaker's Initiative as part of the City Cleanup Corps program.
New Programs to Support and Invest in Young Adults
Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC)
The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks) has partnered with the Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD), the Mayor's Office of Youth Employment, and the City Cleanup Corps to develop the very first Youth Sustainability Corps (YSC). The YSC is a specialized Parks green job internship program within DYCD’s Work Learn Grow program where students gain work readiness, explore careers in the green economy, and receive targeted employment training and skills development with a focus on environmental justice and the City’s overall recovery. Parks’ YSC students will get hands-on experience in the full scope of green roof installation, and learn about systemic environmental challenges and a broad range of sustainable solutions NYC Parks is piloting. These program components, combined and funded through Mayor de Blasio’s City Cleanup Corps economic recovery program, will serve 30 young people from New York City schools with 225 hours of program, for total earnings of $3,375 per student.
Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G)
Through a collaboration between NYC Parks and the New York City Department of Education (DOE), the City Cleanup Corps is also funding a new work study program, Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation (GAPP x P2G). The program fosters career readiness and skills building through practical application: students served will tackle a complete project from start to finish—for instance, building, blazing, and landscaping a trail—alongside Parks Department employees. In coordination with the DOE, the program allows students to work and attend high school equivalency classes in the same location, on the same day, and aims to help participants build a strong peer network to support them in school and through their careers. The nearly $1 million work study pilot funded by Mayor de Blasio will serve 36 New Yorkers, between ages 18 to 30, who have been disengaged from work and school, and may have been involved in the justice system. The pilot will run 40 hours a week, for 26 weeks, for a total earnings of $16,068 per participant plus transportation costs.
Completion of 21 Public Art Projects to Revitalize Neighborhoods and Empower Communities
In partnership with the City Artist Corps, NYC Department of Probation, and Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, City Cleanup Corps supported Beautify NYC, a program through which local artists and young people collaborated on arts projects to revitalize community spaces. From July to November, local arts organizations ran weekly project-based workshops for youth ages 16 to 24 across a variety of artistic disciplines, with both artists and young people paid for their work. The 21 projects, which ranged from designing tree guards to painting colorful murals, took place in seven neighborhoods across the City with Neighborhood Opportunity Network (NeON) Centers: East New York, Jamaica, Brownsville, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Each project culminated in a final event that connected artists, young people, and organizations to the broader community. Beautify NYC leveraged the power of art and culture to advance recovery in some of the areas most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional number of workshops will continue through June 2022.
Click here to watch a video recap of the Beautify NYC projects.
The City Cleanup Corps has had a significant impact on the local New Yorkers employed by the program, the supervisors they report to, and the communities CCC members have served. To read stories about the impact of this work, visit the CCC Instagram and Facebook Page.
“Through City Cleanup Corps' support, Beautify NYC provided youth across the boroughs opportunities to explore the transformative power of art while centering our communities,” said Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Gonzalo Casals. “Just as they have throughout the pandemic, our City's arts community—now joined by Beautify NYC's promising young artists—have demonstrated how our cultural heritage and creative energy brings New Yorkers together, brightens our neighborhoods, and will help communities recover, now and in the future."
“As New York City’s Strongest pick up 12,000 tons of trash and recycling every day, City Cleanup Corps members have been valuable partners in our shared mission of keeping our city clean and safe,” said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Edward Grayson. “We applaud the Corps on today’s milestone and their ongoing work in the revitalization of our city. With nearly 1,000 new Sanitation Workers joining our team this year, the Department of Sanitation looks forward to continued partnership with the Corps’ expanded programs in the months ahead.”
“We congratulate NYC Cleanup Corps for reaching this impressive milestone," said Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman. "The Cleanup Corps provides vital maintenance services to Open Streets locations, plazas, and other public spaces, and we are happy the program will expand and continue to keep our public spaces clean and vibrant."
“The de Blasio Administration’s workforce development strategy has focused on developing young people’s workforce readiness in growing industries. Thanks to support from the City Cleanup Corps, Parks is leveraging the talent and expertise of our staff to teach the next generation of green innovators through our Youth Sustainability Corps and GAPP x P2G program,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Gabrielle Fialkoff. “The City Cleanup Corps has made a significant impact on the lives of New Yorkers and proven to be an invaluable asset as we work towards recovery in every borough.”
“Every opportunity we have to invest in and support our young adults is valuable for the individual and for our city as a whole,” said Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter. “We are so excited to partner with NYC Parks on Green Applied Projects for Parks x Pathways to Graduation. This incredible work study program funded by the City Cleanup Corps will empower young adults by kick-starting their careers, forging strong peer networks, and fostering important professional skills all while revitalizing our beautiful public spaces.”
“DYCD and the Work, Learn, Grow (WLG) program are proud to partner with NYC Parks and the City Cleanup Corps on the exciting Youth Sustainability Corps, which introduces young people to green careers, environmental justice, and opportunities such as repurposing rooftops to help us combat climate change and extreme weather events. High schoolers interning with the Youth Sustainability Corps will get hands-on training while gaining work readiness skills and exploring careers with in-demand industries,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.
“The City Cleanup Corps has been a terrific help in ensuring the City’s drainage infrastructure is operating as efficiently as possible,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “The Cleanup Corps has helped to clear trash and debris from catch basins and curbside rain gardens across the city. This is an important reminder that all New Yorkers can play a part in making New York a more livable city and support our drainage system by not littering on our streets.”