Hodges Badge gets a Mention in Congress

Last week, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D- R.I.) made a speech to Congress requesting an extension of a Treasury grant program that has provided funding to renewable energy projects.  The Section 1603 grants, originally created as part of the Recovery Act and set to expire in 2011, helped Hodges Badge acquire funding for our wind turbine project (currently under construction).

In his speech, Senator Whitehouse, who toured our facility last May, mentioned Hodges Badge and our wind turbine project several times.

“If your kids have ever won a ribbon at a track meet or a horse show or some other competition, it was probably made at Hodges Badge” he said.  Whitehouse went on to explain that Hodges Badge “is on track to become the first manufacturer in Rhode Island powered entirely by clean energy…” and that our energy project wouldn’t have been possible without assistance from State and Federal Government grants.

For those of you interested in reading the full speech, the Library of Congress has it online here.

Hodges Takes Part in Rhode Island Environmental Summit

This past Wednesday, Hodges Badge Company’s Vice President, Jane Sousa traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in Rhode Island Energy & Environmental Leaders Day.  Hosted by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s office, the day brought together members of Rhode Island’s environmental and energy groups with national leaders from Congress, the EPA, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior and the Council on Environmental Quality.

Given our company’s interest in green manufacturing and clean energy, not to mention our wind turbine in-the-works, we were honored to be included in the discussions with such high level policy makers.  Among the highlighted speakers were Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, Senator John Kerry, Senator Jack Reed, and Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the EPA.

Discussions covered topics ranging from current research at URI and Brown on the changing state of Rhode Island’s ecosystem and the Narragansett Bay aquaculture, to opportunities for green jobs, to federal programming and funding available to the state’s businesses and organizations for environmental projects.

When I asked Jane what she took away from the summit, she said she felt good about Hodges’ efforts to install the wind turbine, given the serious consequences of carbon pollution on Rhode Island’s environment.

“We’re doing our part, but there are many more things available [besides wind power] to help Rhode Island businesses preserve environmental resources” she added.

While the Leaders Day was a unique event, Hodges Badge will continue to pay close attention to local environmental policy issues leading up to the October installation of our wind turbine.   And of course, you can count on the blog for updates!

Update: Senator Whitehouse’s newsroom has put up a photo gallery of the event http://tinyurl.com/3almo3y

Hodges gets a visit from Senator Whitehouse

Yesterday we were very fortunate to have a visit from U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).  Senator Whitehouse was interested in finding out more about local uses of alternative energy and our company’s planned use of the wind turbine, which is scheduled to be operational by October. 

Speaking with Senator Whitehouse, Rick Hodges detailed the environmental and financial savings afforded by the wind turbine, including that it will reduce carbon emissions by over 400,000 lbs per year in addition to saving $100,000 in annual electric costs.

While in Portsmouth, Senator Whitehouse also toured our factory, speaking with employees, and learning how Hodges manufactures ribbons, rosettes, medals and silver

Justin Williams, who works in our Art Department, explained the silver engraving process to Senator Whitehouse.  “He seemed genuinely interested in the engraving, almost mesmerized” he added.

In the photo below, Rick and Senator Whitehouse spoke about the dye sublimation process used for our multicolor ribbons.

Photo courtesy of Sen. Whitehouse's office.

As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Whitehouse has a history of working to pass legislation for expanded renewable energy opportunities.  Part of the financing for the $900,000 wind turbine comes from a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through Rhode Island’s Office of Energy Resources.