Connecting Military Veterans with Meaningful Opportunities In the Green Economic Sector
Founded in 2008, Veterans Green Jobs is a nonprofit organization. Our mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. We operate a variety of programs that help veterans find career opportunities in sustainable economic sectors including energy efficiency / conservation; renewable / clean energy; green construction / building; natural resources / outdoor conservation; environmental remediation / response; and sustainable agriculture.
Veterans Green Jobs believes that by equipping our nation’s military veterans with transferable skills, tools and resources, and helping them reintegrate into society with meaningful jobs, we will enable them to maintain their sense of service, give back to their community, and contribute to a healthy, sustainable and secure future for themselves and their families.
WHY THIS WORK IS IMPORTANT
The national unemployment rate for the more than two million post-9/11 veterans is far above the national average. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in June 2012, of those veterans who have served since 2001, 12.7 percent were unemployed in May, and the youngest (18-24 years of age) are unemployed at a rate of 23.5 percent. More than one million veterans are projected to leave the military between 2011 and 2016, placing increased demands on the workforce.
In Colorado alone in 2011, 49,000 veterans (out of 475,000 total veterans in the state) sought employment assistance with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, but this represents only a portion of the veterans needing employment. Additionally, there are some 21,000 recent veterans attending institutions of higher education in Colorado. These numbers only represent one state; the problem persists throughout the nation and must be addressed.
We are systemizing a job placement agency model that connects veterans with green sector employers and certified training programs across the country. By building relationships with private companies, military service organizations and education partners, and by working with veterans to develop employable skills, we directly place veterans in sustainable career positions. We assist veterans individually through one-on-one counseling and by connecting them with employers and training providers. Our aim is to place 300 veterans in jobs by mid-2013.
Our seasonal employment opportunities provide short-term, work-intensive projects for those just completing military service or veterans ready to make a transition to a new vocational path. In partnership with conservation corps, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and other government agencies, our outdoor conservation and wildland firefighting programs offer hands-on experience, skill-building and certifications to veterans in preparation for careers in land resource conservation and wildland fire management. Corps programs are offered in eight western states.
We are building a self-sustaining organization through contract and revenue-generating enterprises in collaboration with the public sector, private businesses and other nonprofit organizations. We are building enterprise opportunities in solar energy, energy efficiency, furnace services and recycled home improvement materials.
Green and Healthy Homes. We are providing energy efficiency, health and safety services to income-qualified homes in Colorado. Since 2009 we have worked under contract with the Colorado Energy Office to provide free home energy efficiency services to income-qualifying households in Denver, Jefferson County and the San Luis Valley. These services help residents stay comfortable in winter and summer, reduce utility bills, increase health and safety, and lower carbon emissions.
Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning. We offer HVAC repair, installation and maintenance services to metro Denver households at significantly reduced pricing. Revenues support our programs that employ and train military veterans.
Residential Solar. We offer solar installation for residences in the metro Denver area, employing veterans and providing on-the-job training for veterans wishing to enter a career in the renewable energy industry.
We have served more than 500 veterans since our 2008 founding. That number continues to grow as we solidify partnerships and expand our programs to reach more veterans than ever before with meaningful, sustainable, green job opportunities.
Funding for Veterans Green Jobs comes from a wide array of private and public organizations including: Walmart Foundation, Call of Duty Endowment, Bob Woodruff Foundation, Anschutz Foundation, El Pomar Foundation, and the Colorado Energy Office.