Insights into the Brooklyn Naval Yard and Ecologic Solutions Site Visit

Shauna Sexsmith, a Public Relations & Corporate Communication graduate student and Wasserman@SCPS Program Assistant, attended last week’s site visit to The Brooklyn Naval Yard. Below is her account of the visit to one of the largest sustainable industrial parks in the United States.

As part of NYU Spring at the Square, the NYU Wasserman Center hosted a visit to the Brooklyn Naval Yard, a national model for sustainable urban industrial parks and home to modern manufacturers that are tech-driven and socially responsible.

Our first stop was BLDG 92, a building with LEED Platinum certification, that is also a public space that showcases the history and innovation of The Brooklyn Navy Yard – from the Revolutionary War to the transformation in jobs and industry happening in New York City right now. For over 15 years, much to my surprise, the Navy Yard Development Corporation has operated an on-site Employment Center, and is dedicated to connecting local residents to employment opportunities with any of its 330 tenants or local retailers. To give you a little context,  for 150 years the Yard churned out America’s most famous fighting ships, from the USS Maine to the USS Missouri. Today, the Yard houses 300+ designers and manufactures working towards increasing a greener way of life.

At the center, they specialize in placements for job seekers of all skill levels, with emphasis on local residents (including NYCHA residents), Veterans, and individuals with experience in the following sectors: industrial/manufacturing, tech, sustainability, green design, hospitality, and warehouse/distribution to name a few. They also provide: placements both inside and outside of the Yard, assistance with interviewing & other “soft” skills, training and education classes and support services post-placement. For further information about the Employment Center please email/call at: ecenter@brooklynnavyyard.org | 718-907-5996.

Back on the tour, our second stop was EcoLogic Solutions (ELS), a sustainable corporation specializing in manufacturing and distributing environmentally friendly cleaning products. The mission of ELS to provide their products to an array of industries — food service, hotels, and educational institutions. By providing sustainable products, EcoLogic Solutions helps businesses green their operations, while keeping costs low. We learned how their products are made and had insightful and inspiring Q&A session with the company’s CEO, Anselm Doering.

At the end of the tour, I got to thinking: since the days of the Industrial Revolution, we’ve tied manufacturing to smoke stacks and polluting factories. But today’s generation of manufacturers — with a keen eye on environmental impact — are cleaning up the sector’s reputation through use of cutting-edge technology, highly efficient processes and a broad array of natural materials that are both high quality and eco-friendly. More than a few of these companies are housed in the revitalized Brooklyn Naval Yard. Our ability to choose, to decide for ourselves the type of world we want to help create and live in, has never been so readily available, as it is at The Yard.

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