|By PR Newswire||
|October 20, 2012 03:01 PM EDT||
BAKERSFIELD, Calif., Oct. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IKEA, the world's leading home furnishings company, today donated 110 bags filled with IKEA products to young people leaving the foster care system in Kern County and facing the real world for the first time. The IKEA "Starter Kits" included sheets, a comforter, pots and pans, towels and other in-home necessities. The donation was part of the county's "Independent City" event held at Bakersfield College.
An IKEA representative spoke at an employer panel and provided teenagers with guidance on applying for their first jobs as adults.
"To be able to help young people establish a comfortable and welcoming home for themselves is a great fit with our vision and our business idea. IKEA is happy to be able to support these young adults and we hope it makes a difference in their lives," said Martin Grieder, Distribution Manager of the IKEA Tejon Ranch Distribution Center. "At IKEA, we believe in helping to create a better everyday life for the many people."
This is the 10th year that the Kern County Department of Human Services has organized the event. More than 100 teenagers ages 16 to 18 attended, including young people facing huge obstacles, from finding a safe place to live, to managing money, to find a job or applying to college. The county's Independent Living Program, which organizes the annual event, scheduled an all-day boot camp for the young people, complete with simulated situations where participants opened bank accounts, turned on utilities in a new apartment, received their first paycheck and received a lesson in office attire.
The IKEA Distribution Center in Lebec, California, located on Tejon ranch, employs as many as 500 people during peak times. The operation distributes IKEA products to more than two dozen stores in the Western United States and Canada, and operates on the same principles of taking responsibility for the environment and for the local community. The building is powered by clean energy, using one of the largest roof-mounted solar arrays in California and has contributed to the local community through the Boys and Girls Club, the Great American Cleanup in Bakersfield and by offering subsidized mass transit to and from work for its employees. IKEA has 38 stores and five distribution centers in the United States, and more than 330 stores in more than 40 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ikea-usa.com.