Good Work Good Pay and Veterans Corps
Helping Soldiers and Veterans Find their Next Mission
SBP’s veterans programs are focused on addressing three problems: high unemployment rate among men and women who have served our country; affordable housing crisis; and high instance of blighted and vacant properties in the New Orleans area. By hiring and training veterans in residential construction and paying them fair and livable wages and benefits, SBP can increase its workforce to rebuild homes and further transform blighted and vacant properties and neighborhoods.
Addressing two needs in the community
The unemployment rate among veterans is 14% compared to the national average of 9.5%. In New Orleans the employment barriers veterans face are further exacerbated by low wages. In fact, 47% of full-time workers in New Orleans earn less than $35,000 per year.
As the nation struggles to develop effective reentry programs for veterans, the excessive number of blighted properties and empty lots in the New Orleans area can offer opportunities for these veterans. The Greater New Orleans Data Center recently released a study that shows there is a shortage of 20,000 affordable units. In contrast, there are 49,000 blighted properties or empty lots in New Orleans that could be converted into affordable, viable housing units.
Learn more about supporting the SBP Veterans Initiatives!
Good Work Good Pay
The Good Work Good Pay Program utilizes a trained workforce to rebuild/build affordable homes and to stabilize blighted, vacant and disaster-impacted communities. These employees primarily complete electric, plumbing and carpentry work for our Rebuilding Program and Opportunity Housing Program thereby minimizing SBP’s need for subcontractors. By relying on a skilled in-house workforce instead of subcontractors SBP is able to complete projects faster and more affordably.
Through partnerships with Warriors in Transition, the Veteran’s Administration and other military programs that subsidize veterans’ wages, SBP identifies qualified veterans in search of their next mission. This program is committed to paying employees fair and livable wages positioning employees for future success in the workplace.
Several local nonprofit developers are interested in subcontracting Good Work Good Pay because, based on initial estimates, they save 25%-50% on labor costs. In addition to cost savings, nonprofit developers are interested in subcontracting out GWGP because of SBP’s commitment to pay employees in this program fair and livable wages.
GWGP employees will not only provide the labor for affordable and efficient rebuilding efforts in New Orleans, but they will also gain training in green construction — training that will be valuable in providing a pathway to future jobs in this growing industry.
Building on our extensive AmeriCorps program, St. Bernard Project created our Veterans Corps program to engage veterans in meaningful service. Veterans in the program work alongside SBP’s 60+ AmeriCorps members and 200+ daily volunteers in every phase of construction. They serve for 10 months in roles such as site supervisors, warehouse managers, and construction office coordinators. In addition, to serving SBP’s clients, Veterans Corps members connect and support other veterans throughout the area through unique service projects and outreach events. Veterans Corps ease the transition back into civilian life by fostering a greater understanding of how to utilize the services and benefits available to veterans.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America has partnered with SBP to promote our Veterans Initiatives.