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Chicago (IL), Long Beach (CA), Milwaukee (WI), San Francisco (CA), St. Louis (MO) and Providence (RI) honored by Walmart Foundation for Leadership in Green Jobs Training

U.S. Conference of Mayors Announces 2009 Green Jobs Training Initiative Grant Winners

Providence, RI— Mayors Richard Daley of Chicago (IL), Bob Foster of Long Beach (CA), Tom Barrett of Milwaukee (WI), Gavin Newsom of San Francisco (CA), Francis Slay of St. Louis (MO) and David Cicilline of Providence (RI) were honored at the 77th Annual Conference of Mayors meeting for their leadership in green jobs training.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors selected non-profit organizations in their cities to receive grants from the Walmart Foundation to support and expand training programs for green jobs.

“Energy, climate protection and green jobs have been top priorities in our work with mayors, Congress and the Administration, specifically our efforts to enact a new energy block grant program and the Green Jobs Act,” said Tom Cochran, Executive Director and CEO of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “The Walmart Foundation’s generous support of our Green Jobs Training Initiative enables us to continue this important work in building a green workforce in cities.” 

Ray Bracy, Senior Vice President of U.S. Government Relations & Public Affairs of Walmart, presented the awards.

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors, through its Green Jobs Taskforce, is providing leadership, advocacy, best practices and technical assistance to mayors and cities across the country to ensure that we, as a nation, are poised to successfully build the green economy,” said Bracy. “Walmart is pleased to partner with The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ in their efforts to lay an important foundation for identifying the strategies that will help to move the needle for the creation of green jobs.”

Walmart is a valued member of the Mayors Climate Protection Council, established to support The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Center. The Walmart Foundation is committed to creating opportunities to help people live better and has funded a number of environmentally-friendly initiatives since the company created three global environmental goals in 2005: to run on 100 percent renewable energy, create zero waste, and sell products that promote environmental sustainability.

Grant Winner Program Descriptions:

Chicago, IL (Large-Size City Award for $700,000):
The Greencorps Chicago program trains 40 to 50 disadvantaged Chicago residents for at least nine months in eco-restoration, community gardens, plant distribution, landscaping, electronics and hazardous waste recycling and weatherization projects. The program plans to expand its weatherization training and initiate an arborist training program with the support of the Walmart Foundation Green Jobs Training Initiative Grant. “I was impressed by the partnership between the leadership of the mayor and the support from the community early on. In addition the program exhibited a long-term commitment to being green by capitalizing on programs started in 1994 and an ongoing commitment of the leadership in Chicago to multiple green initiatives,” said one of the judges.

Long Beach, CA (Medium-Size City Award for $550,000):
The Conservation Corps of Long Beach trains at-risk youth (18-25) in a one-year non-residential pre-apprenticeship training program focused on recycling, natural resource conservation, drought-resistant landscaping, and energy and water conservation. The program then continues with job placement assistance two years after successful completion. “I loved their thinking in the long-term in terms of sustainability and the program’s simplicity, which is key to its replicability,” remarked one of the judges.

Milwaukee, WI (Medium-Size City Award for $550,000):
The Milwaukee Conservation Leadership Corps is a seven-week high school summer program providing hands-on education components and employment experience in conservation work projects such as restoration and stewardship of open spaces and urban park care and management. The program also teaches about environmental awareness and citizenship in addition to crucial job training techniques such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, decision-making skills and self-management. The judges said, “We loved the development of formalized standards regarding the curriculum.”

San Francisco, CA (Medium-Size City Award for $550,000):
The SF Works/City Build Academy is a public/private/community and labor partnership.  CityBuild began as a mayoral initiative in 2005 through the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. They have now partnered with the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s SF Works to train and place economically disadvantaged residents in asbestos abatement and solar installation. The program plans to expand its curriculum to include energy efficiency, weatherization, solar, biodiesel and brownfield remediation training. One judge expressed, “I was impressed by the program’s strong collaboration with community partners, including the education, labor and business community.”

St. Louis, MO (Medium-Size City Award for $550,000):
The St. Patrick Center Project Go! Green program consists of two parts: 1) The City Seeds Urban Farm Project which trains homeless individuals in green horticulture—preparing them for jobs in landscaping, turf maintenance, nurseries, gardening retailers, grounds-keeping, arboriculture, floriculture and other green-care jobs; and 2) The Go! Network, created this year to train professionals who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis in biofuels production and related fields. They plan to expand their program to incorporate the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center.  “We were impressed by the program’s innovative approach with a particularly challenging population. The program exhibited key efforts to capitalize on reaching difficult populations while initiating a green jobs effort,” the judges said.

Providence, RI (Small-Size City Award for $372,500):
The Apeiron Institute for Sustainable Living collaborates with the Providence Workforce Investment Board (WIB) and the local community college in an energy efficiency training program for Workforce Investment Act-eligible participants to become energy auditors. They plan to expand the program to include an 8th grade green literacy program and a “Whole Home Health, Energy Efficiency, and Green Construction” training program. One judge commented, “We were impressed by the Apeiron Institute’s comprehensive strategy, the program’s capacity for replicability, and the strong leadership of the mayor.”

About Philanthropy at Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international Foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.