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(Click on the title for the full story.)

Green Business Certification Pays

Bottom Line: Green business certification is a marketing asset, cost cutting measure, energy saver, workforce morale booster and overall smart business strategy.

Green Business CertificationThe Bay Area Green Business Program is a successful partnership between cities, counties, environmental agencies, and utility companies that assist businesses in transitioning to practices that are environmentally friendly. There is often an upfront time and dollar investment in gaining green business certification, but almost all businesses agree the savings are worth it after a short payback period. The largest cost saving efforts usually include waste reduction and recycling, lighting upgrades, water conservation, and sourcing recycled products. Local colleges and universities may have graduate level students that are willing to help with energy audits and compliance reviews. Once a business satisfies the requirements on the green business checklist, including visits by PG&E and the water agency, the Green Business Coordinator verifies the results.

JobTrain of Menlo Park

Bottom Line: JobTrain Provides First-Class Vocational Education that Allows Everyone a Chance to Improve Their Lives

JobTrain, a vocational education and job placement program based in Menlo Park, has found a way to help those residents of San Mateo County who need assistance in building a path to a successful career.

Goodwill Industries is much more than just used clothing.

Bottom Line: Goodwill Industries has been recycling since before it was called “recycling,” and today they are a leader in the effort to create good jobs for populations in need.


Goodwill Industries of San Francisco San Mateo and Marin was founded over 80 years ago as one of the original recyclers. Its mission was to take used clothing and household goods from wealthier households in the City, and refurbish them for re-use or re-sale to poorer parts of the community. Important to the process, Goodwill would hire citizens from these very same communities to do the work of mending clothes and refurbishing, leading to the slogan “a hand up, not a hand out…”

San Mateo County (SMC) Works Program

Bottom Line: San Mateo County is using American Recovery and Investment Act funding to provide rental assistance, emergency food and subsidized employment during this economic recession.


San Mateo County residents have increasingly applied for government assistance to pay their bills and buy groceries. SMC Works was created in response to this and seeks to provide for the residents of San Mateo County during the recession when people are increasingly unable to provide for themselves.

Commute Shuttles Help San Mateo County Use Transit

Bottom Line: The Alliance’s commuter shuttle service offers conveniently scheduled vehicles to carry commuters in comfort from BART and Caltrain stations to within easy walking distance of many major San Mateo County employers..


Lots of people would like to take transit to work, but for many, the distance between their work and the nearest Caltrain or SamTrans station is too far to walk. A recent survey by the Alliance found that distance from work to transit station was the second most cited reason for not taking transit for a commute.

Join the RightLights Program

Bottom Line: Ecology Action’s RightLights Program provides subsidized energy efficiency upgrades of business lighting and refrigeration systems, with free professional assistance to help you lower your energy bills and boost your cash flow.

right lights

Is your business’ utility bill too high? An innovative non-profit offers a great opportunity to businesses to reduce their energy bills, save money, and boost productivity.

New 511 RideMatch Service

Bottom Line: The Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance runs the NEW 511 RideMatch service – an interactive, on-demand system that helps you find carpools and vanpools. And they’ll pay you to join one.


Carpooling saves money, saves resources, and can save the air. But where do you go to find carpool partners to share rides to work? Just visit where you can quickly create a profile and find commuters who have similar travel routes and schedules with whom you can share a ride. The system lets you easily send potential rideshare partners an e-mail or give them a call.

Buy Local San Mateo

Bottom Line: Buying locally keeps dollars in the local economy, creates local jobs, and reduces a variety of environmental impacts.

buy local

Why Buy Local?

Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.

Get help with your commute from Ways to Work

Bottom Line: The Ways to Work Family Loan program, administered by Family Service Agency of San Mateo County, provides short-term, low interest loans to assist low-income parents in solving transportation problems.

family service

The Ways to Work Family Loan Program is a proven, innovative program that provides small, short-term, low-interest loans to assist low-income parents with challenging credit histories to cope with transportation barriers which may interfere with their ability to maintain self-sufficiency. The purpose of the loan is to assist low-income families through affordable car ownership as a solution to employment stability.

You’ve Been Laid Off”Now What?

Bottom Line: A look at the resources available for unemployed workers and their families

Laid Off

The stress of unemployment is indeed a heavy burden. House payments, health insurance, food and basic living expenses all become points of anxiety when there is no paycheck coming in. However, unemployed workers are not alone and should not feel helpless. There are many resources available in San Mateo County to help you get right back into the workforce and relieve some the anxiety of life’s many burdens in the meantime.

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