In the News

Recent Press



Black History Month event to focus on Asheville restaurant industry

By Gina Smith, Mountain Xpress

2/20/17 – GO, Asheville Kitchen Cabinet, and Calypso partner to host event honoring the contributions of African Americans to the the local culinary industry.


“Ready for anything: Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready grads hit their career paths running”

By Emily Glaser, Mountain Xpress

3/15/17 – Four GO graduates share their career path since graduating and what they gained from the Kitchen Ready program.


Feed your brain: Homework Diner program offers families dinner, academic support

By Gina Smith, Mountain Xpress

5/5/17 – The Kitchen Ready programs provides a free meal for families once a week through this partnership with the United Way and Asheville City Schools.


U.S. Department of Labor Awards $80M in Pre-Apprenticeship Grants

Press release

8/18/17 – Green Opportunities was one of 77 organizations nationwide selected to receive a YouthBuild grant. YouthBuild is a pre-apprenticeship program for at-risk individuals ages 16-to-24.





AshevilleFM talks with Eric Howell of Green Opportunities

By George Edwards, 103.3 AshevilleFM

9/23/17 – The Southside Construction Instructor at Green Opportunities talks to us about their work and their recent receipt of a YouthBuild grant.




Hundreds sit down to early Thanksgiving meal at the Edington Center

By staff, WLOS

11/21/17 – Hundreds of people are sitting down for an early Thanksgiving dinner in Asheville, at the fourth annual Southside Community Thanksgiving Dinner.


Green Opportunities teams with City of Asheville for greenway trail project

Asheville City Source

3/30/18 – In April, students from the Green Opportunities Landscaping and Maintenance program will work in partnership with the City of Asheville to build a temporary trail on a portion of the Town Branch Greenway.


Want a more equitable city? Try food-oriented design

Diana Budds, Curbed

5/10/18 – A new grant program from the Kresge Foundation called FreshLo—shorthand for “Fresh, Local, and Equitable”—is affirming a food-oriented approach to improving equity.


Spotlight On: Green Opportunities

Emma Castleberry, The Laurel of Asheville

October 2018 – The Laurel spotlights GO’s early years as well as the job training and social enterprise work happening today, ten years on.



“Mountain BizWorks Announces the Fifth ScaleUp WNC Cohort”

Press release

2/20/17 – Green Opportunities was one of fifteen high-potential WNC small businesses accepted into the intensive growth planning and mentorship program.


Gov. Cooper visits Enka Middle for National Volunteers Week

By Tanja Rekhi, News 13 WLOS

4/25/17 – Governor Roy Cooper visits Enka Middle School to see the new Homework Diner tutoring and meal program in action. Cooper hopes to expand the program throughout NC.


Soul Shakedown by the River returns

By Thomas Calder, Mountain Xpress

5/2/17 – Green Opportunities’ annual fundraising event returns to The Boathouse on Saturday, May 6, 2017.




Small bites: Goombay Festival celebrates diversity in the mountains

By Thomas Calder, Mountain Xpres

9/5/17 – GO’s Southside Soul food truck will make its debut at this year’s Asheville Goombay Festival.



Southside Woodworks gives struggling people a sense of identity, income

By John Le, News 13 WLOS

10/23/17 – An Asheville program provides job skills and a source of pride that’s been a lifeline to many participants in the Southside community.



Little Free Library Unveiled at Asheville Fire Station

By Jenni Mathews, WSPA News 7

2/8/18 – “The Little Free Libraries at the Asheville fire departments were built by students in the Green Opportunities GO Build Program, which gives students employment skills training and personal and professional development activities.”


Carolina Kitchen: Almond Whoopie Pies

WLOS News 13

4/13/18 – After 15 weeks of instruction, the latest Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready graduates are ready to showcase their culinary skills in the program’s ceremonial dinner.


Small Bites: Kitchen Ready Showcase Dinner spotlights New Orleans fare

By Thomas Calder, Mountain Xpress

5/15/18 – GO’s Chef Amber Whitt and Kitchen Ready students Kendel and Alton demonstrate how to bake whoopie pies.

Green Opportunities names new executive director

By Beth Walton, Asheville Citizen-Times

2/24/17 – Joseph “J” Hackett assumed the role of Green Opportunities’ executive director this month, following a successful tenure as director of student development at GO.


Green Opportunities, Mission partner for employment

By Beth Walton, Asheville Citizen-Times

4/28/17 – A new training partnership and curriculum is expanding job opportunities for graduates of Green Opportunities’ construction training program.


Legacy of loss, part 2: Food access challenges in Asheville’s Southside community

By Erin Daniell, Mountain Xpress

8/9/17 – Urban Renewal policies from the 1970s and gentrification continue to affect food accessibility for residents of Asheville’s Southside neighborhood.



Rep. Patrick McHenry makes a stop in the mountains

By John Le, WLOS

9/21/17 – McHenry visited Green Opportunities to see how federal grant dollars help fuel its programs. “It’s such a great model, a great program and vitally important,” he said of the program.


Supporting community through Southside Arts & Agriculture Center

Op-ed, Mountain Xpress

11/19/17 – GO received a 2-year FreshLo grant this fall from The Kresge Foundation, one of the organization’s bright moments of 2017.


“Kitchen Ready Students Provide Community with Showcase Dinner”

Matt Burkhart, Asheville Citizen-Times

2/22/18 – Photo slideshow of Kitchen Ready Cycle 17 Showcase Dinner in Southside Kitchen


Green Opportunities partners with city to build greenway trail

Daniel Walton, Mountain Xpress

5/12/18 –  GO teamed up with the city of Asheville to construct a temporary trail on the planned Town Branch Greenway, which opened to the public after a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 27.


Consent Decision-Making with YouthBuild Students Makes a Difference for Green Opportunities

Michelle Smith, Circle Forward Blog

8/6/18 – An interview with YouthBuild Coordinator Eric Howell and Michelle Smith about the new partnership between GO and Circle Forward.


2016 & 2015 Archives

Hanan Mnt Xpress

“Social Justice through Food: The Legacy of Hanan Shabazz”

by Jonathan Ammons, Mountain Xpress

1/5/16 – Hanan Shabazz, an instructor in the Green Opportunities Kitchen Ready culinary training program, has a lifetime of experience in cooking soul food, feeding people and fighting for equality.



“Mountain Causes: Soul food on the Southside”

by Beth Walton, Asheville Citizen-Times

5/19/16 – Green Opportunities provides a nourishing meal and life-changing training.




Eric shop b&w (1)

“Southside Woodworks Helps Turn Lives Around”

by Frances Figart, The Laurel of Asheville

6/7/16 – A new GO social enterprise helps students gain skills and earn income.




Living soul: Goombay Festival partners with GO Kitchen Ready culinary training program

by Eliza Stokes, Mountain Xpress

9/7/16 – GO Kitchen Ready and Goombay deepen collaboration for the 36th Annual Asheville Goombay Festival.


“Where to Find a Pipeline of Workers for Green Jobs”

by Grads of LifeVoice Team, Forbes

4/21/16 – Organizations nationwide are closing the opportunity gap by training young adults for environmental careers.




“Announcing the FreshLo Menu: Food, Arts & Culture”

by The Kresge Foundation

5/17/16 – GO was one of just 26 nonprofits nationwide awarded a $75,000 planning grant through the new “FreshLo” Initiative.


Sholonda Williams shows off the new women and children's wing at Western Carolina Rescue Ministries. Photo by Beth Walton.

Shelter expansion helps women, children dream together

by Beth Walton, Asheville Citizen-Times

8/2/16 – Kitchen Ready graduate Sholonda Williams shows off the new women and children’s wing at Western Carolina Rescue Mission.


Council member Cecil Bothwell reads a proclamation declaring Oct. 28 Hispanic Restaurateur Day in Asheville. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Asheville City Council proclaims Oct. 28 Hispanic Restaurateur Day

Press release by Virginia Daffron, Mountain Xpress

10/27/16 – GO Kitchen Ready graduate Karla Castillo-Delgado accepted the Proclamation on behalf of the Hispanic restaurateur community.


“Energy Innovation Task Force charts WNC’s future”

by Virginia Daffron, Mountain Xpress

4/26/16 – GO is part of a collaborative task force comprised of government, business and non-profit members.




“Brew and bites: Food and beer pairings add flavor to AVL Beer Week schedule”

by Gina Smith, Mountain Xpress

5/28/16 – Catawba Brewing and Rhubarb will host a farm dinner benefiting GO Kitchen Ready on May 31.





“WNCW Friday Feature: Let’s talk about GO”

by Paul Foster, WNCW

8/5/16 – GO Student Development Director J Hacket discusses the GO training program during this “interview of the week”.





“In photos: Southside Community Thanksgiving Dinner”

by  Adam McMillan, Mountain Xpress

11/26/16 – GO, City of Asheville public officials, and Edinton Center partners hosted the 3rd annual Southside Thanksgiving celebration on 11/22/16.

2015 Archives


“Pre-Thanksgiving Feast Inspires Southside Neighborhood Pride”

by John Le, WLOS

11/25/15 – GO Kitchen Ready partners with community organizations to host the 2nd annual Southside Community Thanksgiving Dinner.





“Asheville restaurants face labor shortage”

by Mackensy Lunsford, Citizen Times

8/31/15 – GO’s Kitchen Ready program is helping to train workers (and diversify the workforce) for Asheville’s growing restaurant sector.





“Green Opportunities gets $25,000 grant from Wells Fargo”

by Margaret Williams, Mountain Xpress

4/23/2015 – GO receives critical funds to support job training, case management and job placement services economically disadvantaged local residents.



“A little bit at a time: Joshua Young rebuilds his life with the help of Green Opportunities”

by Max Hunt, Mountain Xpress

3/1/2015 – GO graduate Joshua Young is enrolled in the welding program and a member of the Minority Student Leadership Academy at AB Tech, and will earn his welding certificate later this year.


2015 AshevilleFM News Hour Segments featuring GO:

November 23, 2015, with Chef Liam Luttrell-Rowland and George C. Jones, Jr. (segment begins at 9:36)

October 2, 2015, with George C. Jones, Jr. (segment begins at 8:46)


“Ready Hands: Local Chefs partner with Green Opportunities culinary students for Blind Pig Supper Club benefit”

by Jonathan Ammons, Mountain Xpress

11/13/15 – Top local chefs work with GO Kitchen Ready students to prepare the Blind Pig dinner at the Edington Center gymnasium on November 8th.


WLOS still - Southside Kitchen







Popular Restaurant Feeds Need for Job Opportunities

by John Le, WLOS

9/16/15 – Southside Kitchen, operated by the Kitchen Ready program, provides food and training to the community.




“Energy Efficiency takes Center Stage in Edington Center Renovations”

by Tracy Rose, Mountain Xpress

7/27/2015 – The Housing Authority of Asheville was presented with a $42,144 check from Duke Energy Progress for installing a number of energy-efficient features during the renovation of the Arthur R. Edington Education & Career Center, where they house several community partners including Green Opportunities.


Hillcrest Orchard (Photo by Pat Barcas)

“A community orchard brings a new green space to Hillcrest”

by Carrie Eidson, Mountain Xpress

4/15/2015 – HACA’s Hillcrest public housing community is getting a new green space in the form of a community orchard. Green Opportunities is collaborating on the project by building a pergola, benches and other woodwork features.





GCJ Mt Xpress-crop

“Green Opportunities’ new director gets his feet — and his shoes — wet”

by Carrie Eidson, Mountain Xpress

9/9/15 – GO’s new director discusses his new vision for Green Opportunities, along with his love of gardening.





“The Southside Community Garden Project is Under Way”

by Johnnie Grant, The Urban News

6/11/2015 – The Southside community garden has really taken off, providing community members with a gathering space, an opportunity to learn about growing food and access to fresh, GMO-free produce!


Liam Luttrell-Rowland - photo by Pat Barcas

“One meal at a tie: Dinner at the Kitchen Ready table”

by Jonathan Ammons, Mountain Xpress

3/31/2015 – GO’s Kitchen Ready program prepares low-income Asheville residents for culinary careers while feeding the community.



“Green developments: How Asheville’s public housing communities are leading the eco-scene”

by Carrie Eidson, Mountain Xpress

3/16/2015 – Asheville’s public housing communities are leading the eco-scene thanks to organizations like GO.


“Asheville Merchants Fund of the Community Foundation Awards $350,000”

by Sarah Whelan, Mountain Xpress

6/18/2015 – Asheville Merchants Fund Awards $350,000 to seven nonprofits dedicated to strengthening communities. GO receives $50,000 to support job training and placement.


2014 Archives






“Despite funding challenges, WNC non-profits find ways to serve” 

by Margaret Williams, Mountain Xpress

11/19/2014 – We’ve sought to diversify our revenue stream by increasing individual/business contributions and creating financially sustainable social-enterprise activities that generate revenues while giving trainees additional income.





“Jasmine’s Story: A journey from homeless to housing”

by Jodi Ford, Mountian Xpress

03/23/2014 – Jasmine’s story highlights the spectrum of housing experiences that many families travel – doubling up, homelessness, shelters, public housing, and several moves. This instability impacts families’ health, ability to find jobs , and children’s academic success.





“Making our new Asheville home energy efficient: Part 2”

by Joan Walker

1/15/2014 – The audit at our new building revealed plenty of opportunities to save energy at our new Asheville office. The final two posts in this series detail how we addressed recommendations from our audit…and then some!






“Reid Center Reborn”

by The Urban News of Asheville

06/06/2014 – On August 8, 2012, the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville (HACA), GO, and several community partners broke ground on a bold new project to develop a vital community asset. Today, the transformation of the W.C. Reid Center from a historic school and community center into a state-of- the-art, LEED-certified Green Jobs Training Center is nearly complete.




“With goal of reducing municipal waste, Asheville looks at options”

by  Angie Newsome, Press Release from City of Asheville

02/26/2014 –  Asheville City Council adopted a goal of reducing municipal solid waste by 50 percent by the year 2035.






by Micah Wilkins, Mountain Xpress

5/20/2014 – GO’s Kitchen-Ready students participate in the second annual “Whacked!” cooking competition.



SunPower Corporation Donates Over 150 kW to GO!

by The Urban News of Asheville

February 2014 – Green Opportunities receives a generous donation of Solar Panels from SunPower Corporation.

2013 Archives


“Dewayne Barton: Building Opportunity in West Asheville”

by Kimber Ray

12/10/2013 – As an artist and the co-founder and co-director of the community development organization Green Opportunities, Barton is devoted to bridging the gap between culture and sustainability in Asheville, N.C.

Weatherization peer training blog- photo 2_0

“November Peer Training – Weatherization & Alternative Energy”

by Serena Shah, AmeriCorps Project Conserve

12/04/2013 – On November 4th, 2013 AmeriCorps Project Conserve gathered at Laughing Waters retreat, a forest eco-community that has a micro-hydro system on site. This was fitting as our reason for gathering was for a weatherization and alternative energy training


“Group Partners Save Bog”

by Nancy Tanker, Times -News

10/31/2013 – Tanker writes about GO employees and WNC Alliance as they partner to help eradicate 22 non-native invasive plant species on 7 acres of land owned by the Mountain Land Conservancy.

“Taste of Asheville”

by Toni Sherwood, Mountain Xpress
11/19/2013 – Here Sherwood writes about the Taste of Asheville event and GO’s partnership with Asheville Independent Restaurants, our restaurant employment partners, and GO graduate Kikko Shaw.

“Green Opportunities Green Streets Program”

The Urban News
October 2013 – (PDF) This is GO’s regular feature in the Urban News. This particular article focuses on our Green Streets peer-to-peer energy efficiency model that’s based on Clean Energy Durham’s Pete Street model.


“Asheville Housing Authority is awarded green accreditation”

by Samantha Bowers (HACA), in Mountain Xpress
9/24/2013 – The Asheville Housing Authority is the only housing authority in the Carolinas to receive the SPI-HUD Green Organizational Accreditation. The accreditation process included an important innovation category for the Housing Authority’s partnership with GO and the release includes an overview of the GO-HACA partnership.

“Foundation Awards $335K to Buncombe Nonprofits”

by Staff Reports, Asheville Citizen-Times
7/9/2013 – Covers the recent round of Asheville Merchants Fund grants that were awarded, including GO as a first time recipient!

“Local Conference Highlights Renewable Energy Economy”

by Jake Frankel, Mountain Xpress
6/23/2013 – Here Dale Freudenberger, longtime partner of GO and founder of FLS Energy, says at a renewable energy conference that “what he’s most proud of is the company’s partnership with Green Opportunities, a local organization that trains disadvantaged residents to work in ‘green collar’ jobs.”

“Initiatives improve access to healthy foods”

by Julie Ball, Asheville Citizen-Times

1/22/2013 – This article covers a host of new food and garden-related initiatives and features GO Member Olufemi Lewis and her work with Ayanfe Jamison to address food deserts in Asheville’s low-income communities. Backup PDF available by clicking here.

“Martin Luther King Jr. Day Tree Planting”

by WLOS Staff, WLOS

1/21/2013 – News brief on out MLK Jr. Day day of service in which we teamed up with Asheville Greenworks to plant trees at Pisgah View Peace Gardens.

2012 Archives

“Asheville’s Barton works to heal community (WNC’s Influential People)”

by Jon Ostendorff, Asheville Citizen-Times
12/27/2012 – Wonderful profile of Green Opportunities Co-Founder and Co-Director DeWayne Barton. Includes brief video interview and covers the history of GO’s founding and DeWayne’s motivations and achievements as a community leader. Backup PDF available by clicking here.

“Group taking fresh aim at Asheville food insecurity, food deserts”

by Jack Igelman, Carolina Public Press

12/10/2012 – This excellent investigative piece is one of the more comprehensive articles we’ve had written about our programs. It not only covers the news of what we’re doing and what the new HHS grant entails, but it delves into the problems of food deserts (see Jack’s previous article on them here) and looks at the intersection between training, health, and jobs as a solution to some of the problems facing low income residents.


“Asheville’s Green Opportunities gets $800,000 food-insecurity grant”

12/7/2012 Release posted by Margaret Williams, Mountain Xpress

“Charlotte Street Computers to hold ribbon-cutting for new Klondyke playground”

10/24/2012 Release posted by Rebecca Sulock, Mountian Xpress

“Spotlight On ~ Green Opportunities”

September 2012 by Leah Shapiro, The Laurel of Asheville

“Two generations of Asheville chefs”

8/15/2012 by Mackensy Lunsford, Asheville Citizen-Times


“Asheville Initiative trains young adults for green economy jobs.”

4/25/2012 by North Carolina Community Development Initiative

“Creating Opportunities in the Green-Collar Economy”

April-May 2012 by Paige Campbell, Appalachian Voices

“RiverLinks invites participation in WaterRICH Programs”

3/12/2012 by Margaret Williams, Mountain Xpress

“Asheville GO weatherizes 100 homes”

3/3/2012 by David Forbes, Mountain Xpress

“A foot in the door”

3/5/2012 by Erin Condo, WNC Green Building Directory

“GO Kitchen-Ready Training Program ready for takeoff”

2/17/2012 by Mackensy Lunsford, Mountain Xpress

“Green Scene: Environmental Antacid”

2/7/2012 by Susan Andrews, Mountain Xpress

2009-11 Archives