The ReBuildATL Coalition includes more than 40 nonprofits, academic institutions, industry partners and local government agencies committed to empowering disadvantaged communities in the Westside of Atlanta. With initial support from an EPA job training grant, the ReBuildATL Coalition was originally formed to create and deliver a workforce training program called Breaking Barriers Through Deconstruction, which recently graduated its first cohort.
As we developed this program in partnership with community-based organizations in Westside / Southwest Atlanta, the Coalition recognized a need to expand its scope in response to other challenges experienced in these communities, including higher energy burdens and lack of access to renewable energy systems. Collectively the Coalition provides a broad range of expertise and resources to address the area’s energy challenges and develop clean energy solutions.
COMMUNITY WE SERVE
The Coalition is committed to empowering underserved individuals residing in Atlanta’s Westside neighborhoods through access to sustainable, living-wage jobs and increased energy independence. These communities have invested equity in their neighborhoods for decades, and the Coalition sees workforce development as a first step for advancing equitable community development.
"We have inherited an economic system that sets boundaries and exclusionary policies that is extractive, exploitative and degenerative of Atlanta’s Westside communities. This Coalition is intended to be regenerative in that it removes barriers and replenishes and restores the community."
This quote comes from the values statement agreed upon by the Coalition in completing the Breaking Barriers Through Deconstruction workforce development initiative. As the Coalition shifts its focus towards energy burdens, this values statement is being revised to follow.
Breaking barriers through deconstruction
LBC partnered with multiple community, nonprofit, and educational organizations to develop and implement Breaking Barriers Through Deconstruction, a workforce training program that is rooted in environmental sustainability and racial equity. Breaking Barriers offers paid vocational training to disadvantaged individuals seeking to overcome barriers to employment, opening the door for them to find long-term, living-wage jobs in industries needing workers with skills in construction, demolition, remodeling, facility management, and more.
Individuals served by the program receive training in deconstruction, home repair and weatherization, energy efficiency, career advancement skills, financial literacy, OSHA 10 safety certification, and GPRO certification in high-performance construction standards. Beyond providing educational opportunities and new career pathways for underserved residents, Breaking Barriers creates broader community resilience by supporting the transition from a linear resource usage model to a circular, restorative use of our planet’s precious material resources.
Breaking barriers VIDEO
Department of energy: American-made Community Clean energy coalition prize
The goal of the Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize is to help community coalitions—made up of nonprofits, city governments, school systems, and other community organizations—come together to address a local clean energy opportunity or inequity. Strategies may include student education, workforce trainings, or implementation of new technologies that align with the goals of the White House’s Justice40 Initiative.
The DOE Community Clean Energy Coalition (CCEC) Prize is directed and administered by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The ReBuildATL Coalition was one of ten coalitions selected through a nationwide competition for both the Phase One and Phase Two CCEC Prize.
As part of the government’s approach to advancing equity, civil rights, racial justice and equal opportunity, DOE has identified eight policy priorities to guide its implementation of the Justice40 Initiative in disadvantaged communities. The ReBuildATL Coalition's efforts currently support DOE Justice40 goals 1, 3, 5, 6, and 8.
Decrease energy burden in disadvantaged communities.
Decrease environmental exposure and burdens for disadvantaged communities
Increase parity in clean energy technology (e.g., solar, storage) access and adoption in disadvantaged communities.
Increase access to low-cost capital in disadvantaged communities.
Increase clean energy enterprise creation and contracting in disadvantaged communities.
Increase clean energy jobs, job pipelines, and job training for individuals from disadvantaged communities.
Increase energy resiliency in disadvantaged communities.
Increase energy democracy (stakeholder engagement to facilitate decision-making) in disadvantaged communities.
UN SUSTAINABLE development goals
The UN has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for countries and nonprofits to align themselves to sustainability. The ReBuildATL coalition has begun introducing these goals locally through their efforts.
The UN has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for countries and nonprofits to align themselves to sustainability. The ReBuildATL Coalition's efforts focus on the following goals:
Increasing access to affordable, renewable energy systems for disadvantaged communities
Developing a workforce around deconstruction and connecting individuals with the construction industry
Creating a circular economy in Atlanta, beginning with building material reuse
Improving housing affordability through material reuse and workforce development
Leveraging community-based assets to design and implement sustainable, equitable solutions