Pastors Press City Council On Power Plant Jobs

ministers hold hands
Ministers hold hands in City Council chambers. Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

From Brian Lockhart, CT Post:

The mostly minority crowd urged the council, which was holding its regular meeting, to look into allegations that PSEG Power LLC has reneged on promises to hire residents and local contractors to build its gas-fired power plant in the South End.

… PSEG currently operates the controversial coal-fired plant next door to the gas plant construction site. Under the arrangement with the city, community leaders agreed not to oppose the gas-fired development in exchange for PSEG: committing to retire the coal plant in 2021; establishing the jobs apprenticeship program, and “maximizing efforts” to use workers with prior experience or graduates of the apprenticeship program “for the duration of the construction of the project.”

… Denese Taylor-Moye, a council member for the South End, supports PSEG and its link to The Workplace.

“This is not for jobs, this is for training,” Taylor-Moye said Monday of PSEG’s deal with the city. “Training, certification, getting licensing and being placed in a union.” She said the crowd of protestors was “misinformed.”

Full story here.



    1. The “reverend” McCluster and his colleagues are exploiting the blind faith and ignorance of their congregations for material gain. Shame in them.

  1. Didn’t the Rev McCluster run into some pretty serious problems with government money that was misspent and a project that never developed…This looks like a money grab, pure & simple. Workplace is legit; who knows about this other outfit?

  2. “‘The objective is to enroll Bridgeport residents in the Connecticut building trades unions (so) they can work on jobs all around the state and region,’ James Gilroy, a PSEG spokesman, told Hearst Connecticut Media last month…

    “The religious leaders are… angry because ultimately PSEG and the city partnered with Bridgeport-based The Workplace and with state labor unions for the apprenticeship training. The pastors wanted PSEG to instead choose Green Forest, a minority-run, faith-based Georgia firm that PSEG has said would not have offered the union or Connecticut certifications program graduates need to enter the workforce…

    “Denese Taylor-Moye, a council member for the South End, supports PSEG and its link to The Workplace.

    “’This is not for jobs, this is for training,’ Taylor-Moye said Monday of PSEG’s deal with the city. ‘Training, certification, getting licensing and being placed in a union.’ She said the crowd of protestors was ‘misinformed.'”

    What will apprentices trained under the Green Forest faith-based program, a plastic crucifix made in Taiwan?

  3. I must say that I’m troubled by a few thing, first this project started when Bill Finch was the mayor and Rev. Carl McCluster was the lead person for the pastors in the South End when a deal was made and I would think that McCluster has whatever was agreed to that he has it in writing. According to the Post article the issue seems to be the hiring of the Green Forest faith-based program from Georgia and not the hiring of workers from the South End who are people of color. What is the track record for apprenticeship training for Green Forest to offered PSEG union or Connecticut certifications program graduates need to enter the workforce.

    1. I’ve looked at the Green Forest website. Lot of “Praise the Lord!” and “Hallelujah!” and “Amen!” very short on practical apprenticeship programs. Workplace will provide hands on training in multiple disciplines and certifications. Anyone can apply, Ron. ANYONE.

      McCluster and the rest of the clergy are getting their knickers in a twist because they want to use a faith based program that provides nothing of any practical value.

  4. Ron what you are saying is that the workers should be minority and from the south end. Really? Where the hell are all these qualified people and who among them want to take on 5 year apprentice programs. What certification from the state are you talking about.
    This is highway robbery by a bunch of people that claim to be people of God. That in and of it self is laughable.
    What PS&G should have done is tell this whole group to go screw. Does this mean every time something is built in Bridgeport the contractor and the owner will be black mailed by these modern day thieves

  5. Has anyone done any independent research as to the success of these programs to train and place people in apprenticeships?
    Has PSEG and/or the WorkPlace provided any statistics reflecting success?
    Do the ‘reverends’ have any research or analysis to support their preference for ‘Green Forest’. Do they have documentation suggesting that PSEG reneged on an agreement?
    Has the city council approved this ‘agreement’? Does anyone have a copy of it? Did anyone read it?
    How about facts to support allegations?

    1. This is settled business, end of story. All worked out. The clergy is trying to strong arm the city. Green Forest is not offering apprenticeships, certification and union membership. One has to wonder what Green Forest is offering. Air fresheners emblazoned with Jesus’ image to hang from the rear view mirror? That and $1.05 will buy a cup of coffee at Cumberland Farms.

      1. Derek, first let me say this, 9 have the highest respect for Bishop JC White of Cathedral of Praise, he’s a highly respect around the country and is a honest person who wants what’s best everyone, also the same for Deborah Brooks, an elder at Cathedral of Praise.

        Back in the summer of 2015 before the Democrat primary for mayor Bill Finch the mayor made his rounds to black churches in the South End not to attend church service but to speak to the pastors and to inform them about jobs at PSEG to build its gas-fired power plant in the South End. Most these ministers were not involve in any of the discussions. This deal was mainly a Rev Carl McCluster’s production who then over sold it to the other ministers.

        1. So McCluster is the source of misinformation, eh? Bishop J.C. White, Deborah Brooks, et al, should have been duly diligent. I wpuldn’t have taken McCluster at his word.

          1. Derek, I agree, I wouldn’t take McCluster’s word unless I was able to verify the information. This is about business and not friendship and especially dealing with money​ and politicians, you negotiate in good faith but you need to have everything in writing and verify by everyone involved.

  6. What is PS&G supposed to do shut down construction because of these black mail artists who should have been told GFY long ago. Wonderful how Ganim has kept his big mouth shut. He has been kissing the reverends collective asses for a long time.

  7. I think most of you wouldn’t know Rev. McCluster if he pissed on your leg. The best thing about the changeover from coal to gas isn’t the apprenticeship program although it can serve as a model of uplift for Bridgeport resident’s. The greatest thing is that they are changing from a coal fired plant to natural gas which is inherently safer for the people that live in close proximity to the plant.

    Hazardous air pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants can cause a wide range of health effects, including heart and lung diseases, such as asthma. Exposure to these pollutants can damage the brain, eyes, skin, and breathing passages. It can affect the kidneys, lungs, and nervous and respiratory systems. Exposure can also affect learning, memory, and behavior.

    While the apprenticeship program is a noble gesture all those involved including ministers should embrace the changeover not because of the program, but because of its health benefits for the residents of Bridgeport. The health benefits for young Black and Latino children, PRICELESS.

    1. Don, thanks for breaking things down to the most important issue of health. The jobs was the shiny object to distract and to help Mayor Finch during the primary against Joe Ganim. The victory and the blessing for the residents rom the South End is what you stated Don.

  8. Just so people know. Most construction apprentice programs are 5 years in length. You are required to go school 2 nights a week. You are not paid the full hourly rate while and apprentice but each year you are an apprentice your pay increases. You will go from job to job meaning travel. My son is now working in storrs at U Conn thats 3 hrs a day travel no pay for that.its not as easy as people make it out to be.


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