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New Grant for SoBRO to Help Creat Jobs in Port Morris

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a grant to help create more jobs in the Bronx.

SoBRO will receive $396,000 from the HHS to work with Parallel Products, Inc., a recycling company in Port Morris, to expand their operation and create more job opportunities for Bronx residents. The program, which is called the South Bronx Recycling Expansion Program, officially began in October 2010. The grant will help Parallel Products, Inc. purchase plastic recycling equipment that will nearly triple their employees who they will recruit and train.

With 24 new positions to be created for Parallel, SoBRO will work with the potential employees to provide supportive services which include CDL training, ESOL courses, job readiness counseling and more. The plan is to offer three-quarters of the jobs to low-income individuals. Lourdes Zapata, senior vice president of SoBRO, is excited to receive this grant and have the opportunity to work with Parallel to create jobs.

“This innovative program will address the problems on both sides of the labor equation while expanding our partners at Parallel Products,” Zapata said. “They will bring indispensable expertise in the recycling industry and allow SoBRO to bolster businesses in the Port Morris Industrial Business Zone.”

The new equipment is set to be delivered to Parallel Products, which is located at 855 E. 137th Street, during the first quarter of 2011. Currently, Parallel has to ship millions of plastic containers to their New Bedford, Massachusetts location to be sorted and processed. The new, on-site equipment will soon allow them to separate the plastic containers at the Port Morris location instead. This will reduce trucking traffic, create local jobs and make easier to deliver processed plastic to Bronx industries that use it to manufacture other goods.

Jim Russell, vice president of Parallel Products’ New England operations, is very excited for the opportunity to improve the company in the Bronx. He believes it will benefit not only Parallel Products and other companies in the Bronx, but also the people who can now be hired with the creation of more jobs.

“This grant will help New York accelerate in our ongoing expansion of plastic processed from recycled containers and create training programs for new jobs,” Russell said. “Thanks to SoBRO and the Bronx community, Parallel Products can hit our triple bottom line of people, planet and profit today and in the future.”

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