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Walmart Supports Chicago Green Jobs for Eco-Restoration

People are increasingly concerned with sustainability and are looking for green solutions to our problems. Walmart Stores, which currently tops the Fortune 500 List, is innovating a wide range of environmentally mindful projects from solar powered stores to a worldwide sustainable product index. The Greencorps Chicago program is creating and expanding training programs for green jobs. A recent press release announced that Walmart, together with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, donated $700,000 to Greencorps which will fund green job training and development in the city.

The Greencorps Chicago program is trying to clean up the city and simultaneously aid disadvantaged residents. The program already has the capacity to train 40 to 50 people over a period of at least nine months in community landscaping, electronics and hazardous waste recycling, and home weatherization.

With the help of the Wal-Mart Foundation Green Jobs Training Initiative Grant, the program plans to expand its weatherization training and create an expand to offer an arborist training program. Chicago residents can anticipate better eco-restoration of community gardens, plant distribution, and hazardous waste recycling in the city.

The Mayors Climate Protection Council was established to support The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Center. The Walmart Foundation, a member of the Council, reaffirmed its commitment to creating “opportunities to help people live better.” It has funded several environmentally-friendly initiatives since the company created three global environmental goals in 2005:

run on 100 percent renewable energy

create zero waste

sell products that promote environmental sustainability

“The Greencorps Chicago program is indicative of the Mayor’s leadership in transforming the fabric of our great city. Greencorps graduates in many instances are ex-offenders or chronically underemployed Chicagoans who have reaped the benefits of life and technical skills training in order to take advantage of the emerging green economy,” said Environment Commissioner, Suzanne Malec-McKenna. “Greencorps participants have helped change the landscape of Chicago both literally and figuratively with their hard work and dedication.”

Rolando Rodriquez, Walmart vice president and regional general manager for Illinois, praised the Green Jobs Taskforce for “break-through programs” and values the fact that they are time-tested and successful. “The Greencorps program is a proven leader in the city of Chicago and is a great role model to agencies everywhere on how to work with communities to bring about positive change for the environment,” Rodriquez added.

“Energy, climate protection and green jobs have been top priorities in our work with 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,” said Tom Cochran, Executive Director and CEO of The U.S. Conference of Mayors.

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