Press Release: A Path to Solid Footing for Green Opportunities
Green Opportunities (GO) is reaching out to raise $50,000 to match an anonymous donation from a supporter who believes in the organization and wants to help secure its future. The matching grant is part of a larger effort to address current operating needs, ensure future sustainability and define a secure path forward for the Asheville-based nonprofit.
Since 2008, GO has delivered job training and case support to more than 600 marginalized individuals in Buncombe County. Currently, GO offers three programs that provide industry-aligned technical training and portable credentials that help clients overcome personal and systemic barriers to employment.
Graduates of Kitchen Ready enter the job force with professional certifications, work experience and specialized skills including food safety, culinary math, teamwork and more. YouthBuild is a U.S. Department of Labor funded training for young adults who lack a high school diploma or GED. The program prepares participants for college or a career while providing construction skills and addressing affordable housing. Students in Youth Corps can access educational and vocational pathways for out-of-school and out-of-work young adults that include life skills instruction, paid apprenticeships and career training.
Wider impact on community does not stop there. GO also works to build capacity and make neighborhoods healthier and more connected. GO’s social enterprise, Southside Kitchen, serves free healthy meals in the Edington Center five days a week. Through the construction program and in partnership with the Housing Authority, YouthBuild students construct and renovate housing for extremely low-income residents. GO also supports a community garden, collaborates with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College to support job seekers and builds Free Little Libraries for schools. Effective program delivery and community inclusiveness underpin GO’s operation.
Since its founding in 2008, GO programs have experienced extraordinary growth. Years of rapid expansion prioritized program delivery and student outcomes and strained administrative infrastructure. The lack of a clearly defined fundraising strategy and a dependence on government grants resulted in borrowing that led to the current financial challenge.
GO is now approaching internal capacity and sustainability with the same dedication and sense of purpose that serves its clients so well. A growing and energized board is working with staff to improve existing operations and strengthen financial stability. Financial reporting measures are being reinforced. New staff, including an executive director, will allow a focus on fundraising and organizational capacity. A professional search firm is working to identify GO’s next leader and ensuring the skill set for administrative excellence. GO staff and board are collectively committed to rebuilding community trust while delivering effective programs and results.
Local partners and funders including The City of Asheville, Buncombe County, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County and The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina recognize the value of GO’s programs to our community and endorse GO’s efforts to commit to a path of financial sustainability.
Achieving the match is time sensitive, but it is only the first step to solid footing for GO’s future. To donate or to learn more, visit www.greenopportunities.org.
About Green Opportunities
Green Opportunities (GO) is an Asheville-based nonprofit that trains, supports, and connects people from marginalized communities to sustainable employment pathways. Founded in 2008, GO has graduated more than 600 youth and adults from its job training programs, and placed graduates in jobs and apprenticeships with over 300 local employers. For more information on Green Opportunities, please visit www.greenopportunities.org.