Recycling advocate Richard Valle will be presented with the 2009 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award today.
Now in its fourth year, the awards celebrate extraordinary leaders who are advancing innovative and effective solutions to significant state issues. The awards are intended to publicize proven solutions that can inform policymaking and better the lives of more Californians.
This year's six recipients will receive $125,000 each and additional support from the Foundation.
Long before "green jobs" were popularized, Richard Valle built a thriving business that benefits the environment and provides job opportunities for youth and workers who face employment challenges. Valle founded Tri-CED nearly 30 years ago and has since employed 1,500 people ages 14 to 24, many of whom are at-risk or formerly incarcerated. Tri-CED today processes 2,208 tons of recyclables a month, while also helping employees turn their lives around. Many Tri-CED employees earn their high school diplomas, enroll in college, keep their jobs, support their families and stay out of trouble. Valle is now exploring a venture to recycle computer parts as well as a partnership with Chabot College to create a $4 million environmental education center that would offer vocational training, field trips for school children and English-language classes.