Donated Products Begin to Fill Shelves in Support of Veterans Job and Training Programs in an Era When Veteran Unemployment Rates Soar Above 20 Percent
April 4, 2011, Denver, Colo. – Major preparations are underway to open the Go Green Warehouse in Denver this spring, and hundreds of donations of new and used home improvement materials have begun to fill the shelves of the 40,000-square foot warehouse. Income from the discount retail store will financially support Veterans Green Jobs’ job and training programs for military veterans. The grand opening of the store, located at West 6th Avenue and Federal Blvd., has tentatively been scheduled for May.
Designed for do-it-yourself homeowners, home-flippers and builders, the Go Green Warehouse will sell discount remodel materials ranging from appliances, tools and painting supplies to furniture, bathroom fixtures and flooring. It will also feature an energy efficiency education center to provide the nonprofit’s weatherization clients with educational tips and tricks about energy conservation and money savings.
Startup funding has come in the form of financial and in-kind support from a variety of sources, including:
- A $25,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation;
- A $13,000 grant from the Sierra Club Foundation;
- Product donations from small businesses such as Glidden Professional Paints and Canady Construction, as well as community members and Veterans Green Jobs staff;
- Financial contributions from individual donors;
- An in-kind-gift of $75,000 in abated rent from the building owner, R.W. Properties, LLC;
- Hundreds of hours of volunteer work from the National Civilian Community Corps, whose young men and women ages 18 to 24 have prepared the store through projects such as building racking, painting, stocking shelves, and inventorying items for sale.
As a way of celebrating Earth Day later this month, employees from Walsh Environmental, an Ecology and Environment Company, have volunteered to build the energy education center inside the giant Go Green Warehouse.
“So many different organizations have come together to support the store and our mission. It’s a great illustration of Americans’ desire to help veterans,” says Veronica Collin, director of the Go Green Warehouse. “We are very grateful for the community’s contributions that not only help veterans, but the environment and the economy as well.”
Income from store sales will funnel directly into Veterans Green Jobs’ programs that prepare military veterans for career opportunities in energy efficiency, urban forestry, and land conservation and natural resource management.
According to Veterans Green Jobs’ CEO, Dr. Bill Doe, “This is an especially important time to support our nation’s veterans, who face unacceptably high unemployment rates – more than the national average. The Go Green Warehouse will be a critical source of income that allows us to continue operating our veteran-focused programs, regardless of funding fluctuations.” According to a report issued by the U.S. Labor Department on March 11 of this year, the unemployment rate among 18- to 24-year-old military veterans in 2010 was 21.9 percent. The national unemployment rate for nonveterans 18 and older is 9.3 percent.
Details about Go Green Warehouse, including information about product sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and other ways to contribute may be found at www.veteransgreenjobs.org/warehouse.
A brief online presentation may be found at http://prezi.com/bd9w5ln91uhc/welcome-to-the-go-green-warehouse.
About Veterans Green Jobs
Veterans Green Jobs is a national nonprofit whose mission is to 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 land conservation and natural resource management. It is currently creating a job placement agency model that will connect veterans with green industry employers and certified training programs. See www.veteransgreenjobs.org for more information.