Brookfield Properties Delivers for Bronx Residents

Andre Banks, director of Brookfield Social Inclusion Program
Photo Courtesy Building Skills NY

A developer that is in the midst of constructing a mega million dollar luxury residential project in the borough is also providing jobs for local residents in the process.

In November, Brookfield Properties unveiled their plans for the Bankside mixed-use development in Mott Haven and also brought hundreds of construction jobs, many of which were filled with local residents.

Bankside, a $950 million, 4.3-acre mixed-use multi tower development is located along the Harlem River waterfront in. Bankside will consume two sizable parcels located on each side of the Third Avenue Bridge – at 2401 Third Avenue and 101 Lincoln Avenue. The architect on the project is Hill West Architects.

For this project, Brookfield is using its Social Inclusion Program with local workforce intermediaries and a host of community and faith-based organizations located in the Bronx to match residents with opportunities on projects like Bankside. Brookfield has had several success stories through their work with workforce intermediaries.

Behind this effort is Andre Banks, director of the Social Inclusion Program. He works with workforce intermediaries and community and faith based organizations in the Bronx and Washington, D.C. to help supply local residents with job opportunities.

“We want to help people,” Banks said. “We’re putting a lot into the community. It’s going to change the lives for some.”

Banks told the Bronx Times he understands how difficult it can be to find a job, so being part of this program is gratifying for the employer and employee. People struggle putting food on the table and helping local people is important, he stressed.

“When they see this coming down the pike, they really want to be a part of it,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than well-trained people that can’t find jobs.”

One person who can attest to the success of the program firsthand is Dwayne Campbell. Campbell, 53, was referred to Building Skills NY from their workforce partner Bronxworks.
He was hired by RC Structures and is now doing general labor, flagging and fire watch.

“I am so thankful for this opportunity to work on the Brookfield site,” Campbell said. “Building Skills connected me to a job where I am now making a good salary and my rent is back in good standing.”

Campbell said things have not always been easy. He was married, lost his son, fell into depression, dealt with addiction and sold drugs.

In the 90s he was in the drug game and aimed to be a ‘successful Scarface.’

In 1996 he left it all behind. He went to college and began working various jobs, none of which made his pockets fat. Campbell was living paycheck to paycheck and often falling behind on rent.

“Inching your way through your rent is not good,” he stated.

On Wednesday, January 2, he joined Brookfield and things have been smooth sailing ever since.

Buildings Skills NY has made a difference in his life, he said. It helped him get licenses, a job and ultimately has lead to his happiness.

“It feels fantastic,” he said. “It’s money that I haven’t made in a longtime. I’m just so grateful for the chance that they gave me.”

 

Dwayne Campbell, a Bronx resident who is part of Brookfield’s Social Inclusion Program. Photo Courtesy Building Skills NY

 

 

 

 

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