Veolia Environmental Services Awards $33,000 Grant to Local Chicago Group

02/24/10  • Waste

OAI, Inc. to use funds for Chicago Southland Youthbuild Program

CHICAGO, Feb. 24, 2010 – Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. (VESNA), on behalf of the Veolia Environnement (VE) Foundation, today awarded a $33,000 grant to OAI, Inc., a non-profit training and education agency based in Chicago. The grant was awarded in the VE Foundation’s workforce development category and will be used to purchase a 15-passenger van for OAI’s Chicago Southland Youthbuild (CSY) pre-employment education and training program housed in Harvey, Ill.
“OAI is grateful to the Veolia Environnement Foundation for its generous contribution to our organization,” said Tipawan Reed, OAI President. The 15-passenger van to be purchased with the grant will be used to transport Youthbuild program participants between training sites and worksites. “Having the ability to move trainees around to the various training and work sites efficiently and economically will greatly enhance program effectiveness, and because this van should be able to serve our program for 10 years or more, the long-term impact of the grant is many times its immediate dollar value,” said Ms. Reed.
The VE Foundation is unique in that it only supports projects sponsored by a company employee. Marguerite Ulrich, vice president of human resources for Veolia ES Technical Solutions, a division of VESNA that delivers preferred solutions that protect people and improve the environment, initiated the effort to apply for the grant.
“We look at this grant as an opportunity to positively impact our community and the future of its people as well as an investment in our own future,” said Ulrich. “OAI participants are trained in courses designed to prepare them in the areas of worker safety, hazardous materials handling and abatement, which directly relates to the work we perform for our clients. We’re hopeful that some of these participants may one day be employed with our company!”
The VE Foundation has three categories in which grants are awarded: outreach, workforce development and environmental conservation. OAI Inc.’s Chicago Southland Youthbuild program is the first North American non-profit program to receive a grant in the VE Foundation’s workforce development category. This category aims to help people outside of mainstream society find a stable job, guiding them on their transition into the work force.
The nine-month Chicago Southland Youthbuild program targets environmentally and economically distressed residents between the ages of 18-24 in the Chicago South Suburbs who are interested in starting a career in the environmental remediation, construction, landscaping or related industries.
The Youthbuild program’s objectives are to provide opportunities for participants to receive academic upgrade training leading to a high school equivalency certificate, to develop leadership skills, and to participate in meaningful work and service to the community by building or rehabilitating single and multi-family affordable housing units in their communities.
OAI, Inc. was founded in 1976 with the mission of advocating and promoting equal access to education, training, and career opportunities for culturally diverse populations and disadvantaged communities in a broad range of fields, including the environmental remediation and basic construction industries.
The VE Foundation was created in May of 2004 and is now one of the leading private sector foundations in France.
The VE Foundation supports non-profit, community oriented projects contributing to sustainable development, with special focus on outreach, workforce development and environmental conservation internationally. The VE Foundation also fosters and encourages employee volunteering, providing the expertise of its employees to the associations or institutions active in the areas of emergency aid and humanitarian development
Based in Chicago, Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. is the leading provider of fully integrated waste, environmental and industrial cleaning solutions to residential, municipal, commercial and industrial customers across the US, Canada and the Caribbean. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.
The Veolia Environmental Services group is the largest waste services company in the world and the only global manager of liquid, solid, non-hazardous and hazardous waste; on-site waste processing; industrial cleaning and process maintenance; and recycling, recovery and disposal for both the public and private sectors. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 313,000 employees in 74 countries, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of almost $50 billion in 2009.
Denisse Ike, Veolia North America
Denise Graham, On Ideas