General Motors (GM) is doing their part for the Flint community through their ‘Do Your Part’ initiative. Turning plastic water bottles into fleece, they have joined up with Schupan Recycling to make some fleece coats for the homeless.
This is not only a project that is good for the homeless issue in the area, but also good for the environment. Two million water bottles, that might otherwise be simply taking up space in a landfill site, will be turned into fleece that will not only be used for donated coats, but also Equinox engine covers, as well as air filters.
It doesn’t end there. As part of The Empowerment Plan initiative, the company will be employing some of Flint’s homeless to act as the sewers of these coats (that can also change into a sleep bag), with the donated fleece they are providing. It is being said that about 6,500 of these jackets will be made to help ease the cold Flint winters some of these people have to endure, and on the streets no less. An estimated 31 bottles are used for each coat made. To boot, the fleece will actually be produced at Flint’s N.E.W. Life Center, a non-profit that employs at-risk individuals to help turn their life around, and provides employment skills development as well.
As part of this project, these individuals are provided with both hard and soft skill via training within lean manufacturing to assist them when progressing through a varying employment opportunities.
Veronika Scott, CEO and Founder of The Empowerment Plan stated that the project is committed to proving to employers that former homeless individuals can be a part of a skilled talent pool. She goes on to say that the end result is more than a coat, it offers empowerment for females to take control of their life and offers a path for sustainable and long-term jobs.
MSN reported that the program has a network of 11 companies, which includes GM, as well as one of their suppliers, Filtration Services. Interestingly enough, the company uses 9,000 square feet of fleece to produce their air filter panels.
Since 2013, GM Foundation has donated $230,000 to The Empowerment Plan. In addition, five of the company’s facilities in and around Detroit and Flint have offered well over million water bottles to this initiative.
John Bradburn, GM representative recently noted that individuals want to do the right thing. He goes on to say that the ‘Do Your Part’ initiative is a way GM’s staff and communities can link their own actions to wider environmental and social causes.