Wal-Mart grant funds more Green Jobs in LB

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(L to R) Bryan Rogers, Executive Director of Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Kim Sentovich, Vice President and Regional General Manager, Walmart Stores, Inc., and Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network directors.

(L to R) Bryan Rogers, Executive Director of Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network, Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, Kim Sentovich, Vice President and Regional General Manager, Walmart Stores, Inc., and Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network directors.

The Walmart Foundation presented a $550,000 grant from its Green Jobs Training Initiative to the Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB). The grant, presented in collaboration with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, will support local job training and youth employment experience in conservation projects.

“With the Walmart Foundation Green Jobs Training Initiative grant, the Conservation Corps of Long Beach will expand its green job training program and hire at least 20 local at-risk young adults and 2 additional full time supervisors,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster today at a press conference at the Conservation Corps of Long Beach’s recycling center. “This grant will directly result in putting more people to work while supporting the City’s sustainability goals.”

The Walmart Foundation Green Jobs Training Initiative grant will support the following:

  • Hiring at least 20 local at-risk young adults;
  • Hiring two additional full-time supervisors;
  • Weatherizing 30 low-income homes;
  • Installing drought-resistant landscapes for 25 homes;
  • Partnering with a local solar panel installer to clean and maintain solar panels to avoid 30-40 percent loss in efficiency; and
  • Conducting energy audits and “door side” recycling services to residents of multi-family complexes.

CCLB is partnering with the City of Long Beach and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network.   Through community outreach, the City will make homeowners, landlords, and property managers aware of the program’s services. The Workforce Investment Network’s employment specialists will connect the graduates to regional green job opportunities.

“The Walmart Foundation is committed to supporting job-training programs that address the need for a green job-ready workforce that will put more people back to work,” said Kimberly Sentovich, Vice President and Regional General Manager for Walmart Stores, Inc. in California. “Mayor Bob Foster’s leadership and his partnership with the Conservation Leadership Corps of Long Beach and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network stand out as a model program that focuses on training marketable job skills that leads to employment and will help build a strong green economy in Long Beach.”

The grant check was presented to Mayor Foster; Mike Bassett, Executive Director of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach; Bryan Rogers, Executive Director of Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Board; and Conservation Corps members. The presentation was made at the Conservation Corps’ recycling program facility which is part of its One Year Job Readiness Program.

“The Walmart Foundation Green Jobs Training Initiative grant is an opportunity to further develop our green jobs training program and help us address the unmet needs in Long Beach for low income weatherization, recycling in multi-family complexes and installation of drought tolerant landscaping,” said Mike Bassett, CEO and Executive Director of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach.

The Conservation Corps of Long Beach trains at-risk young adults (18-25) in a one-year pre-apprenticeship training program that includes: 1) education; 2) job readiness focused on basic skills needed for any job; 3) training in green jobs including recycling, natural resource conservation, drought-resistant landscaping, and energy and water conservation; and 4) Corps-To-Career program that places graduates in green careers and provides job placement assistance two years after successful completion.

“Our partnership with the Conservation Corps of Long Beach is dedicated to working with young adults who want to change their lives and learn skills needed for the emerging Green Job career pathway,” said Bryan Rogers, executive director of the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. “The Walmart Foundation’s Green Jobs Training Initiative grant will allow the Corps to work with more at-risk young adults and place them on a path of employment and success.”

The Walmart Foundation donated $5 million to the U.S. Conference of Mayors to support the Green Jobs Training Initiative. The grant to the U.S. Conference of Mayors will work to create jobs in an array of emerging green industries. In the spring of 2009, through a competitive selection process led by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, six grants were awarded to non-profit organizations that have a history of working with mayors to train people for green jobs. In early 2010, three additional grants will be given to cities with newer commitments to providing green workforce training.

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