Bellingham's ReUse Works founding director to retire


Bellingham’s ReUse Works founding executive director Duane Jager has announced his plan to retire in June.

ReUse Works is the parent organization of Appliance Depot and Ragfinery. Jager started ReUse Works in 2004 using a similar business model to a nonprofit he started in Ohio called ReUse Industries.

The program blends job training with waste management. With Appliance Depot, workers fix appliances that otherwise would be headed to recyclers. It was self-sufficient three years after it started.

By 2010, Jager decided to start another job training business under the ReUse Works umbrella, and eventually landed on textiles as the source material.

“The textile waste stream is substantially more complex than appliances, so initially I had hesitations,” Jager said in a news release. “But ultimately, we gave it a shot and Ragfinery has been welcomed into the community in a way that I never could’ve imagined.”

The Board of Directors Hiring Committee is currently in the process of searching for Jager’s replacement, which they plan on filling by June 1.

“The next Executive Director will have big shoes to fill,” said board president Jason Dallmann in the release. “Not only is Duane the founding Director of both businesses, he is tireless in his pursuit of efficiency and is always searching for creative and improved ways to fulfill our mission.”

Information about the position can be found at Deadline for application is 5 p.m. March 10.

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