opening of their newest division, Kitchen Creations Café, located in
the Clark County Government Center. The Kitchen Creations Café is open
Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and serves up a variety of
items from sandwiches to salads, wraps to soup, as well as a Grab-N-Go
selection and daily specials for both breakfast and lunch.
“I am truly proud to be part of an organization that is constantly
evolving to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said
Ed Guthrie, Executive Director of Opportunity Village. “Opportunity
Village’s newest endeavor, the Kitchen Creations Café, will be a great
outlet for our OVIPs to enter the work force, as well as provide a
service to those who frequent the Clark County Government Center.”
The Kitchen Creations Café is a joint venture between Opportunity
Village and Business Enterprise of Nevada (BEN) that brings people
with intellectual disabilities and people with visual impairments
together. This is just one of the many business projects Opportunity
Village has been involved with that allows for its OVIPs to have a
source of income.
* * * * *
Room for national parks in next federal budget?
Fans of Nevada’s national parks are watching carefully as Congress
puts President Obama’s budget under the microscope in April. The
president is proposing a small increase of $55 million in the National
Park Service budget for 2015, including $10 million as a “Centennial
Initiative” to get the parks ready for the agency’s 100th anniversary
celebration in 2016.
John Garder, budget and appropriations director for the National Parks
Conservation Association, said it is a promising start, after years of
budget-trimming have taken a toll on park maintenance and staffing.
“It’s a modest increase over last year. But it doesn’t get parks back
to where they were just a few years ago, before damaging cuts, to
ensure that people can have a really inspiring and a safe experience
out in our parks,” Garder said.
According to a U.S. National Park Service report, Nevada’s national
park units attracted more than 4.8 million visitors in 2012. The
report showed that the tourism also added $200 million in economic
benefit and supported more than 2,000 jobs.
Additional park funding is much needed, Garder said, for a system that
has put off about $12 billion of maintenance in recent years. From
historic resources to water and sewer systems, visitor centers, roads
and trails, he pointed out that many are in disrepair.
“The main cause for the growth of the deferred-maintenance backlog is
the decline in Congress’ investment in the construction account, which
creates so many jobs,” Garder explained. “In today’s dollars, the
construction account for the National Park Service has been cut nearly
in half, just in the last four years.”
According to the National Park Service, more than 280 million park
visits nationally last year added more than $14 billion in spending
and supported nearly a quarter of a million jobs.
* * * * *
“Boots to Business Suits” Veterans Training Program at the Academy of
Country Music’s “Party for a Cause”
A compelling new video about a career training program for U.S.
military veterans is being highlighted this weekend at the Academy of
Country Music’s “Party for a Cause” in Las Vegas.
In a reflection of the ACM’s commitment to supporting the troops and
veterans, the ACM invited NS2 Serves to present a video about the
training program at the two-day music festival, which is taking place
on Friday and Saturday at The LINQ in the heart of the famous Las
Vegas Strip. The 1:15 video is also available to the public at
www.NS2Serves.org and onYouTube.
NS2 Serves is a nonprofit organization established by SAP National
Security Services, Inc. (SAP NS2), a Rockville, MD-based software
company, to give back to the community it serves. Going far beyond
most comparable initiatives, NS2 Serves offers a high-quality I.T.
training and placement-assistance program, leading to globally
recognized certifications and exciting career opportunities in
government and business. Seventeen post-9/11 veterans, representing
all five service branches, are currently enrolled in the inaugural
In the video, Vice Admiral Joe Kernan (retired), a 35-year Navy SEAL
veteran and chairman of the NS2 Serves board of directors, says,
“These veterans have done their part to protect everything we value,
so we owe them opportunities to thrive after they leave the military.”
“The goal is to employ veterans, to provide them a skill set that they
can drive to employment,” says Mark Testoni, President of NS2 Serves.
“We greatly appreciate the way the country music industry is
partnering with veterans causes like ours,” Testoni said.
“Coming back and trying to traverse the job market, it’s tough,” says
Darnell Broadnax, a native of Frederick, Maryland and a 20-year
veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It’s going to be easier now for me to get a job, but that wasn’t the
case before,” says Sam Southall, a four-year veteran of the U.S.
Marine Corps who hails from Parkersburg, West Virginia.
“Being able to move into a career and have something that you can say,
‘I did this,’ outside of the military service, it’s a great
opportunity,” said Daniel Griffith, a U.S. Army veteran from Columbus,
“When I graduate from this program, I’m hoping I can provide a better
future for my daughter,” says George Kovach, Jr., a native of
Strongstown, Pennsylvania with two tours of Iraq under his belt. “It’s
not about me.”
The congressional co-chairs of the program are Sen. Richard Burr
(R-NC), ranking member on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee and a
member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence; Rep. Mike
Rogers (R-MI), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on
Intelligence and a U.S. Army veteran; and Rep. C.A. “Dutch”
Ruppersberger (D-MD), ranking member on the House Intelligence
Committee and a representative of Maryland communities that are home
to significant U.S. national security and homeland security agencies.
An open house for recruiters and hiring managers will be held on April
23. Corporate, individual, and nonprofit sponsors are being sought to
help continue and expand the program long-term. Contributions may be
made online via a secure PayPal account.
Further details on the program and instructions on how to apply for
the next round of classes are at www.NS2Serves.org.
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