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Usful Glassworks will close at the end of the month

Carolyn Blake, executive director at Usful Glassworks.  Patrick Sweeney

Carolyn Blake, executive director at Usful Glassworks. Blake said a financial shortfall will force the nonprofit to close May 31. Patrick Sweeney

Usful Glassworks, a Boise nonprofit that provides job training and turns bottles into glassware, is closing May 31 because of a financial shortfall, its director said.

The seven-year-old nonprofit has recycled more than 350,000 bottles while providing job skills instruction for former prison inmates, refugees, and low-income elderly people.

Usful has four and a half full-time workers and an annual budget of about $250,000. It made about $167,000 in glassware last year; the rest of its operating money came from donations and fundraisers.

Its laser etcher and other equipment are now for sale.

Executive Director Carlyn Blake had sought this spring to find a partnership or a buyer for the nonprofit, and raised some money toward a $250,000 goal that would have allowed Usful to remain open. She thanked donors who gave money this spring.

“Rest assured that we will use your donations to close our nonprofit with dignity and grace as we pay our bills and take care of our loyal, hard working employees,” she said May 12 in a statement.

About Anne Wallace Allen

Anne Wallace Allen is the editor of the Idaho Business Review.