Joby Fox, the bassist for the Northern Irish band Energy Orchard, on the filming of the music video for their single “Sailor Town” in Braddock, PA, 20 years ago.
Primary election day is fast approaching — on May 19th Pittsburgh will choose between three Democratic candidates for mayor — Luke Ravenstahl, Carmen Robinson, and Patrick Dowd. Braddock is also having a mayor’s race this year, and its current mayor John Fetterman hosted a party a few days ago, to promote his own campaign and lend his support to Patrick Dowd.
Produced for Rustbelt Radio.
The promise of green jobs proliferated on the presidential campaign trail and in the stimulus package. Now it’s come to Braddock, the quintessential Rust Belt town on the outskirts of Pittsburgh. Braddock’s been in the news lately, with its young tattooed mayor John Fetterman appearing on The Colbert Report & a long profile in The New York Times last month.
This burst of national attention comes after a rough past two decades. Since the steel industry petered out in the mid-1980s, no other industry has come into the town – and unemployment, drug use, and violent crime all remain high. A new program has started up in Braddock – the Mon Valley Environmental Innovative Training program (or MOVE IT) – to train area residents to be environmental technicians. The Pittsburgh area has plenty of post-industrial pollution problems, and MOVE IT aims to supply a new crop of ‘green workers’ to remediate brownfield sites.
The first group of MOVE IT trainees just graduated from the 9 week course – and what do they think now? Do they believe in the promise of green jobs? Do they care more about the environment? And are they optimistic about finding work in this economy?