Media Advisory – November 5, 2001
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Jackson @ (202) 898-1610 Jim Primdahl@ (503) 341-3050
National Deconstruction Training Program Announced
Portland, Oregon -The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) announced the kick-off of its national deconstruction training program, which will provide worker and entrepreneur training throughout the country to community development organizations and small businesses. The program’s official launch took place at the 4th Used Building Materials Association (UBMA) Conference, entitled “Harvesting the Future,” held in Portland, Oregon, on September 5-8, 2001.
Deconstruction is a rapidly growing sector of the construction and demolition (C&D) industry. Military, public housing, and residential buildings are systematically disassembled in order to recover and resell valuable building materials while training workers for excellent jobs, and creating small business development opportunities.
ILSR’s deconstruction technical assistance training program will be headed by Jim Primdahl, a nationally-recognized deconstruction trainer with extensive business development experience. Primdahl helped establish DeConstruction Services, the highly successful deconstruction arm of the ReBuilding Center in Portland, Oregon. Neil Seldman, Ph.D., Director of ILSR’s Waste to Wealth Program, and Mark Jackson, ILSR’s Program Associate in Community and Economic Development, will assist Primdahl in joint-business development and financing
ILSR is launching the program with assistance to the Umpqua Community Development Corporation in Roseburg, Oregon; the Metropolitan Development Council in Tacoma, Washington; the Pioneer Valley Project in Springfield, Massachusetts; and the New Community Corporation in Newark, NJ.
“The training program formalizes much of the work ILSR has done across the country over the last two years,” said Mark Jackson. “Our projects in Bridgeport and Hartford, Connecticut, the Bay Area, and here in Washington, DC have created dozens of jobs, helping unemployed workers and public housing residents break into high-wage careers and even union training programs,” added Jackson.
These successes are just the tip of the iceberg, according to ILSR President, Neil Seldman. “ILSR’s analyses show that deconstruction could create as many as 200,000 family-wage jobs and put more than $1 million per year back into local economies.” The U.S. Departments of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development have already supported deconstruction initiatives. Seldman says that, in addition to job training and placement, the Institute’s program will seek to increase private sector involvement in deconstruction, as well.
“There are tremendous benefits for existing companies. C&D businesses that add deconstruction components not only break into a new service area, but also generate a steady supply of high-quality materials for reuse in construction projects. Materials reuse companies can create their own stock from deconstruction, and even branch out into appliance repair or value-added industries. In fact, we helped a consortium of community groups in Oakland open a lumber mill that takes wood from local deconstruction projects and quadruples the value by milling it prior to resale,” added Jim Primdahl.
In the coming year, ILSR plans to continue working in Bridgeport, CT, and Washington, DC, and will be launching training projects in Newark, NJ; Portland, OR; Burlington, VT; and Tacoma, WA. For more information on these and other deconstruction projects, as well as details of the Institute’s upcoming deconstruction conference in Hartford, CT, please contact Mark Jackson, or refer to ILSR’s webpage: www.ilsr.org/recycling/decon/.