Model & Strategy

Green City Force’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty, preparing urban young adults to succeed in their chosen careers by engaging them in service, training and work experiences related to the clean energy economy. In doing so, they encourage participants to lead socially and environmentally responsible lives. Green City Force envisions a “green city” built on principles of sustainability, social, economic and environmental justice.

To achieve this vision, they work through a model city-wide Clean Energy Corps in New York City that reduces greenhouse gas emissions, inspires passion for sustainability and service, stimulates the demand for green services, and creates ladders to careers in the green economy for young people living in poverty. Green City Force’s ambition is that national service directed at reducing green-house gas emissions and improving the environment becomes an avenue to prosperity for generations of urban youth, as well as a means to build a culture of sustainability that can drive the growth of the green economy.

At a Glance
Founded: 2009
Founder & Executive Director: Lisbeth Shepard
Economic Empowerment
Location of work: Domestic, Northeast
Green City Force
Brooklyn, NY
Service. Training. Sustainability. Justice.
Students gathered in a garden
Lisbeth Shepard of Green City Force
Meet Lisbeth Shepard

As an Echoing Green Fellow in 1993, Lisbeth Shepard co-founded Unis-Cité, the leading national service corps in France which engages over 1000 corps members in 27 cities and has inspired national civilian youth service legislation. Before founding Green City Force in 2009, Lisbeth served as chair of the national Clean Energy Corps Working Group at Green for All and worked with the After Prison Initiative of the Open Society Institute on the development of the Civic Justice Corps. Lisbeth, a graduate of Yale University, is co-author of the book Demain Le Service Civil.

IMPACT

GCF’s graduate-driven social enterprise—the Illuminators—has employed over 100 alumni on the country’s largest multifamily energy retrofit, ensuring that young residents connect to jobs created through this historic investment.

GCF is launching the next phase of our work: Ecohubs powered by Green City Force for health, sustainability, and closed-loop systems in public housing communities that keep young adult residents and their career paths at the center.

Since 2009, GCF has run 20 cohorts, graduating a total of 502 students. Of the graduates, 80% have been placed in work or school within six months. GCF has accomplished a 96% placement rate by six months in the past 3 years. GCF’s model inspired PowerCorps PHL, Philadelphia’s green jobs & service corps, which serves 100+ members annually.

  • Every day, but today especially, we are grateful for our Corps Members, alumni, staff, volunteers, board, partners,… https://t.co/LbU51xvYkG
  • RT @NYCHA: ATTN: @NYCHA residents — We've partnered with @bmcc_cuny to help you earn your high school equivalency diploma in 2020🎓 Register…
  • Congratulations to Brigitte & the whole @icgtworks on your new garden space!🌻 Don't forge to catch her and many oth… https://t.co/W0HNEhmXqT
  • There's no better time for a #FlashbackFriday video then to a time when the weather was still warm, & Corps Members… https://t.co/0Wl1n5UEYT
  • Catch our new ED, @TGayle_BK, in a conversation with @NewYorker staff writer @vcunningham, open up about her journe… https://t.co/bAZtBFqevy
  • RT @NYCHA: How to celebrate the holidays safely this year: ✅Wear a mask ✅Wash your hands ✅Stay at home + avoid travel ✅Stay apart + skip i…
  • Green City Force is honored to recognize our incredible advocates & supporters at our Thanksgiving Celebration on G… https://t.co/eZy8RVMLbY
  • Our Thanksgiving Celebration wouldn't be possible w/o our amazing host committee! Thank you for supporting young ad… https://t.co/3xqfZOU9ie
  • RT @NYSLabor: NEW: Governor Cuomo & NYS DOL have launched a FREE online platform for unemployed & underemployed New Yorkers to learn new sk…
  • 📢Did you hear? Brigitte Vicenty, a lifelong @NYCHA resident, the founder of @icgtworks, and 2020 @echoinggreen fell… https://t.co/86EtxChKdU
  • We're celebrating 10 years of service with our first-ever virtual event, featuring friends of GCF and leaders like… https://t.co/oVJlUifibm
  • RT @NYCHA: Have questions or concerns about COVID-19? Call 212-COVID19 seven days a week, from 9AM to 9PM and get the information you need.…
  • #ThrowbackThursday to when Cohort 21 earned their uniforms! We are so proud of them serving their communities to th… https://t.co/AFGDZjoxJB
  • Have you gotten your tix to our Thanksgiving Celebration on Dec. 1st yet?🎟️ We're so excited to announce our feat.… https://t.co/PBUluFlO7r
  • RT @BOENYC: To keep you and others safe at the polls: • Bring your Fast Pass for contactless check-in • Follow floor markers to maintain 6…
  • Today is election day🗳️! No matter the outcome, GCF will continue to lift the voices of #NYCHA communities. Join us… https://t.co/E38DwjeZhJ
  • RT @nycgov: Happy Election Day, #NYC! Get out there and #VOTE! Polls close at 9 PM. https://t.co/LpwUPJpLvP #DemocracyNYC https://t.co/…
  • RT @BOENYC: Are you ready? Election Day 2020 is tomorrow. If you have any last minute questions or concerns, find the answers you need at…