Sustainability is a buzzword these days, but when Appliance Depot started in 2005 it was one of the early pioneers of the movement. The goal of the Bellingham-based nonprofit is to convert trash to treasure by refurbishing old appliances or, when that’s not possible, to strip their reusable parts and put them back to work. Refurbished appliances are resold at a fraction of the cost of new ones. The sales team, funneled from social service agencies, consists of folks who have experienced significant life challenges and need new, basic skills and experience to re-enter the workforce.
“Our program is unique in that it was created with the aim of using trainees as primary workers;’ explained Dallas Betz, executive director at ReUse Works, the nonprofit that operates Appliance Depot. “Trainees work at a variety of tasks and progress quickly. Moreover, they get a sense of ownership in the business and a sense of community from their coworkers. That feeling of support and investment goes a long way toward building confidence, and we see huge transformations in our trainees’ demeanor, communication skills and self-esteem in their time with us.”
Read full feature here.
Read full feature article here: Appliance Depot in Bellingham reduces waste and trains employees to re-enter the work force