Ahead of the green-collar-job curve

I’ve been yammering endlessly about how Waynesboro needs to get ahead of the green-collar-job curve. The folks at Vector Industries have been doing more than yammering endlessly.
“At the beginning of the year, when I was doing my yearly budget, I realized that I was spending more and more on utilities, and I was trying to figure out how I could save water, save electricity, save whatever. And two or three times I had seen different things on the Internet that would help me save those things,” said Ginger Quillen, the growth and development coordinator at the Waynesboro nonprofit, which employs 110 locals with disabilities.

Quillen pitched the idea of trying to tie Vector to the green revolution, and we saw on Monday the first fruits of that exploration. They’re calling them Green Kits, and what they do is give homeowners and property owners the tools to cut down on their water usage in an easy-to-install, easy-to-use manner.

Vector rolled out the new product offering hours before Waynesboro City Council voted to raise water-sewer rates by an effective $75 to $150 a year for most city residents and in the area of $500 to $600 a year for most businesses. The Green Kits, which include a reduced-flow massage showerhead, a flow-reduction kitchen swivel aerator, two bathroom aerators, a toilet tank bank that saves nearly a gallon of water a flush and a toilet-fill-cycle diverter, reduce water usage on average 34 percent, meaning they pay for themselves within the first three months of usage, said Peggy Moore, the human-resources manager at Vector.

“And with the economy being the way it is right now, just a few dollars can make a big difference,” Moore said.

To the green-collar jobs piece – the Green Kits project has the potential to be the next wave for Vector, which will be marking its 40th year in operations next year. “We give our employees the means to contribute to the community and contribute to the economy that they can’t get anywhere else,” Moore said. “They can be productive members of the community, and they’re making money that goes back into the community and into the economy when otherwise they might not be able to participate in much outside their homes.”

It’s what you call a win-win – or maybe more to the point a win-win-win. “We all want to conserve our natural resources. This is an excellent way to do that, it’s an excellent way to save some money, and it’s an excellent way to provide employment for the folks here at Vector,” Moore said.

 

– Story by Chris Graham

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