#BeTheFirst Green Energy Expert
January 2016, Urban Upbound celebrated with Mark Guzman as he secured a full-time position at the Association for Energy Affordability, an agency contracted by Con Edison to make public housing developments efficient and sustainable.
Mark’s journey to a viable career was not easy. Two years ago when Mark came to the Jobs-Plus program in Astoria Houses, he was a recent high school graduate struggling to find stable employment. Noticing Mark’s potential, Employment Counselor Ruth Taylor suggested that Mark attend a Green City Force informational session to learn about jobs in the green sector. Unlike other opportunities, Mark recalls that joining Green City Force felt like the right fit.
While a Corps Member, Mark gained invaluable experience working in green technology, energy, and construction. He also earned a G-Pro certification, a credential that demonstrates his understanding of sustainability combined with green construction knowledge. Currently Mark has earned credits towards a Building Science Principles (BSP) certification.
When asked about what helped him the most in his journey, he cites the free MetroCards provided by Urban Upbound. He recalled, “… you know there are three weeks you don’t get paid after you get a job, but you have to make it there somehow. It can be really hard if you don’t have support.”
Since starting his career path with Urban Upbound, Mark has set up an emergency savings account at the Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union, is building his credit, and is looking towards a positive future in a growing sector.
Mark’s accomplishments have been noted on the cover of El Diario, in NYCHA Journal, and Green City Force’s Blog.
Urban Upbound is proud to feature Mark’s story as part of our #BeTheFirst Campaign. His story exemplifies our mission to break cycles of poverty and help residents build blueprints that lead to lifelong economic self-sufficiency.