October 12, 2011, Alamosa, Colo. – Charlie Sanchez of Veterans Green Jobs travelled to Washington DC on Sept. 29 to dine with Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden. Sanchez had been invited to the Biden residence to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and recognize the outstanding contributions of Hispanic Americans across the military, government and private sector. Sanchez is a program manager for Veterans Green Jobs’ Alamosa-based San Luis Valley Weatherization program.
According to a blog posting about the event on WhiteHouse.gov, the Vice President spoke before a crowd that included veterans and active duty service members, as well as Hispanic business leaders from around the nation.
In his own blog based on informal notes taken during his visit to Washington DC, Sanchez noted that the Vice President recognized the continuing sacrifice of Hispanic American Service men and women by saying, “Latinos have fought bravely in every war the United States has engaged in since the Revolutionary War, and there are more than 29,000 Hispanics and Latinos right now serving in Afghanistan and Iraq, risking their lives for us right now and 1.3 million serving in the armed forces of the United States of America. Their pride is absolutely unmistakable. Their heroism is not only worthy of our notice, but worthy of our admiration.”
During his brief two-minute conversation with Vice President Biden, Sanchez had the opportunity to share information about the work of Veterans Green Jobs – putting military veterans back to work while supporting our communities and the environment.
Veterans Green Jobs’ San Luis Valley Weatherization program provides free home energy efficiency services to income-qualified households. It weatherizes an average of 225 homes per year throughout the six counties of the San Luis Valley. Weatherization services, such as home energy audits, insulation, furnace repair and replacement, and air leakage sealing, make residents more comfortable in winter in summer, significantly reduce utility bills, and make homes safer and healthier. The nonprofit’s Alamosa office employs 25 staff, seven of whom are military veterans.
About his chance to have dinner with the Vice President of the United States, Sanchez said, “What a wonderful once in a lifetime opportunity, and I enjoyed every moment. I have a strong sense of duty and appreciated the opportunity to have partaken in this event.”
Additional Veterans Green Jobs initiatives include a home weatherization program in Denver and Jefferson County, an outdoor conservation program that trains military veterans for jobs in natural resources and spans eight western U.S. states, a retail warehouse that sells discount home improvement materials to keep usable materials out of the landfill while helping fund job and training programs for military veterans, a program that supports homeless and low-income throughout Veterans Green Jobs programs, and a soon-to-be-launched national outreach, recruitment and placement program that matches military veterans to job opportunities with green sector employers.
More information about the Hispanic Heritage Month event can be found at:
Charlie Sanchez’s blog about his visit may be found at:
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to engage, transition and connect military veterans with meaningful employment opportunities that serve our communities and environment. Under a contract with the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office, Veterans Green Jobs weatherizes income-qualified homes in Denver, Jefferson County and the San Luis Valley. In partnership with conservation corps and land management agencies, the nonprofit helps veteran crews get skills and training in outdoor conservation and natural resource management. It is currently creating an outreach, recruitment and placement program that will connect veterans with green industry employers and certified training programs. The nonprofit’s Go Green Warehouse is a discount home improvement materials store whose sales proceeds support job and training programs for military veterans. See www.veteransgreenjobs.org for more information.