Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wal-Mart Foundation Donates $5.7 Million To Support Green Job Creation in U. S.

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The Wal-Mart Foundation announced it will award to the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Veterans Green Jobs grants totaling $5.7 million to support the creation of green jobs in the U.S. The announcement comes on the heels of a newly released Global Insight study revealing that 10 percent of job growth in the U.S. is likely to be green by 2038, the fastest growing sector in the country.

"We understand how important building a green workforce is to the future of America, and the Wal-Mart Foundation is committed to helping create job growth that also sustains our environment," said Margaret McKenna, president of the Wal-Mart Foundation. "Realizing that one of the greatest barriers to creating green jobs is the lack of a trained workforce, the Wal-Mart Foundation's grants will help break through this barrier and enable more American workers to be trained and ready to contribute in this growing sector."

The Wal-Mart Foundation's $5 million 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 will be 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.

Additionally, the Wal-Mart Foundation is awarding nearly $750,000 to Veterans Green Jobs to support the development of four training sites, which will help veterans develop green job training skills. The training sites, which will be built in Washington, Colorado, New Mexico and Louisiana, will assist many of the nearly two million returned or returning military personnel facing the challenging task of reintegrating into civilian life.

"This generous grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation is enabling us to continue building a green workforce in cities nationwide," said Manny Diaz, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and mayor of Miami. "Given that 85 percent of all green jobs are expected to be located in cities and their metro areas in the coming years, this grant could not come at a better time.”

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. and the Wal-Mart Foundation are support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Wal-Mart Foundation supports initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. In 2007, Walmart, Sam's Club and the Wal-Mart Foundation gave $296 million to communities across the United States.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

Veterans Green Jobs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization developing an unprecedented initiative to offer creative and concrete solutions for three of the most urgent issues of our time: rebuilding a sustainable green economy; reversing deteriorating environmental conditions and climate change threats; and reengaging the nearly 2 million military service veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars who need meaningful new careers. The Veterans Green Jobs Academy provides job training and career development opportunities for military veterans in the emerging green industries. Veterans Green Jobs connects veterans with a wide range of complimentary resources to assist with establishing civilian careers.

We like Wal-Mart's strong support for Veterans Green Jobs, which has a dual role of focusing on sustainability and helping U. S. veterans.

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