Transform EcoWorks – and make Detroit green
I’m Jacob, the Interim Executive Director of EcoWorks, and (as many of you know) a passionate and dedicated supporter of the idea that we can and must realize a green future for our communities.
I’ve been so lucky over these past 11 years to pursue that mission through EcoWorks. If you’re here, I’ll assume you know about some of our great work already – but most people don’t realize the full range of great things we do, so I’ll give you some good detail down below.
And now we are undergoing some changes as well. We need to raise our profile and let more folks know about the good work that can be done. That is being done. We also need to expand that work. AND we’re expanding our leadership team. We have a new Executive Director coming on board at the end of June. We also have a Business Innovation Director coming on in August.
And we have you.
Changing the world isn’t easy work, and none of us can do it alone. We invite you to join us in this work.
Together we can make sure that Detroit’s rebirth is a sustainable one. We can help cities collaborate to make regional change. We can help low-income communities survive a crisis while improving the local economy and helping the planet as well.
You can help.
We’re launching this campaign to build this wider community, and to raise funds to make more good things happen. Here what you can do:
- Join the campaign – Any amount you can donate will be matched (through the first $10,000 of the campaign) by a donor who wants to help build this effort. Double your dollars.
- Tell your friends – on facebook, twitter, linkedin, through email, phone or string-can and let’s build the crowd. People love to hear good news about Detroit, and we’ve got lots.
The funds we raise will support the following efforts:
- Build up our public awareness and inspire more people with real improvements in the community
- Raise dollars for our direct services, such as green jobs for youth and for returning citizens, green neighborhood development, Reclaim Detroit, the Youth Energy Squad, and more.
- Help us get a van to get youth to work for green jobs.
- And give our new leadership team something to work with as they take EcoWorks to the next level.
EcoWorks and our history of innovation:
EcoWorks is a Detroit based nonprofit with a 34 year old track record of providing services at the intersection of community development and sustainability. Our mission is to create opportunities to learn and practice the sustainable use of energy and natural resources through innovative education, job training, consulting, social business and advocacy. While EcoWorks’ roots are firmly planted in energy conservation we have grown to emphasize all aspects of sustainable development as it relates to building energy efficient, sustainable, and affordable residential housing and commercial buildings.
Our clients range from low-moderate income households and community organizations to businesses and local governments. We have generated savings of more than $30 million for clients in our service area, and have helped secure over $5 million for local governments to invest in sustainability projects. We are a co-founder of the City of Detroit’s Green Task Force. EcoWorks was one of the inaugural Green Leaders named by the Detroit Free Press in 2010, was a finalist for Crain’s Business Best Managed Nonprofit for 2011, and was selected as a Bank of America Neighborhood Builder in 2013.
History of Innovative Solutions
EcoWorks has a strong history of innovation and successfully supporting the launch of new green industries in Michigan.
- In 1996 we began our Energy Smart program, which creates long-term solutions for the thousands of people who need fuel assistance each year by helping them reduce their bills in future years.
- In 2001, we launched the MichiganBuild program which combined energy efficiency and healthy ventilation standards for Michigan housing. This program paved the way for state-wide adoption of green home practices in the affordable housing industry.
- In 2008, we co-founded the Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office, which helps local governments improve energy use while modeling regional cooperation. That effort now represents more than 10% of the state’s population.
- In 2009, EcoWorks was one of the founding partners in the Detroit Greenworks Solutions, a highly successful collaborative program to conduct green job training in a variety of fields in Detroit.
- Also in 2009, the Detroit Youth Energy Squad was begun. This program is now in over 50 schools providing green education to students in ongoing weekly engagements, while savings schools over $700,000 in utility costs and creating youth leadership development and summer jobs.
- In 2010, we were founding partners of the BetterBuildings for Michigan program, which brought together a variety of stakeholders and service programs to create a comprehensive energy efficiency and healthy home initiative for middle-income and well as low-income homeowners, and operated with a $180,000,000 budget.
- Also in 2010, we launched Reclaim Detroit, which puts Detroiters to work in green jobs by taking apart, piece by piece, blighted abandoned homes, as an alternative to traditional demolition, so that the high quality lumber, architectural details, and other materials can be reused for economic development.
- In 2014, we led the creation of Eco-D, a collaborative effort with a nationally recognized approach to helping Detroit neighborhoods become green.