DC-Based Gelberg Signs Unveils Nationals Park Stadium Signage
Principals of Gelberg Signs Welcomed Ballpark Officials, Community and City Leaders to Celebrate An Historic Event and Spotlight City’s Emphasis on Small Business
Washington, DC (December 20, 2007)—This morning, members of the Washington, DC City Council, community members and ballpark officials gathered at Gelberg Signs in Northwest DC to assist in unveiling the exterior signage for Major League Baseball’s newest ballpark, which is set to open here in Spring 2008.
Gelberg Signs, with a local history dating back to 1941, was selected by Clark Hunt Smoot to engineer, develop, fabricate and install over 3,000 signs for the new Washington Nationals Ballpark. The sign company’s role as a Certified Business Enterprise (formerly the Local, Small and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program) played a major role in Clark Hunt Smoot’s decision to award the entire signage package to a local family-owned business.
The event also spotlighted a unique workforce development program that Gelberg Signs has created with Covenant House Washington, a nonprofit organization which addresses widespread problems of homelessness and poverty among teenagers and young adults within the District. Youth involved in the program receive specialized training which prepares them for a full-time job as an artisan at the full-service sign shop.
Since launching the partnership this fall, five Covenant House graduates have been hired by Gelberg Signs, and each has been integral in the production of the stadium signage.
Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, who was unable to attend the unveiling, extended his congratulations through a written statement: "This is a great day for small business in the District of Columbia,” noted Mayor Fenty. "The work that this public-private partnership has produced will be seen by millions of people around the world starting next spring. The people who produced these signs should be very proud."
The event was officiated by DC Council Chairman Vincent Gray and included DC Councilmembers Kwame Brown and Muriel Bowser, Director of the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development Erik Moses and Executive Director of Covenant House Washington, Judith Dobbins. The ceremony was followed by lunch and facility tour.
In December 2004, Washington, DC and Major League Baseball agreed to a public financing package to build a 41,000-seat baseball stadium, allowing the former Expos to move to DC. In February 2006 the DC City Council passed the required stadium lease agreement, capping the city's expenditures on the project at $611 million. The stadium, located in Southeast Washington and dubbed Nationals Park until naming rights have been awarded, is set to open in Spring 2008.
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