Green Opportunities (GO) began in 2008, when co-founders Dan Leroy and DeWayne Barton formed the Asheville GO pilot program with a mission to help youth and adults living in poverty get and keep jobs that support their families and improve community and environmental health. Over the next two years GO became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and grew into the strong organization it is today, with a staff of 16+ employees, a multi-track job training program, two social enterprises, and initiatives in community outreach/capacity-building and entrepreneurship. Through these efforts, GO has created a growing base of grassroots advocates and entrepreneurs in Asheville that are engaged around the connection between reducing the local environmental impact and the career opportunities that exist in implementing the solutions.
As GO’s programs were developing, the organization moved their office and training facilities into the W.C. Reid Center, a city-owned community center located in the Southside neighborhood. Through a strong partnership between GO and the Housing Authority of the City of Asheville, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded $4.3 million to purchase and renovate the Reid Center into a LEED Certified Green Jobs Training and Adult Education Center. An official ground breaking on August 8, 2012 brought the mayor, city council members, and hundreds of Asheville business leaders and community members together to celebrate the building as a monument to green construction and job creation in one of Asheville’s most underserved communities.
GO has become recognized in Asheville and the state of North Carolina as a leader in building the type of innovative job training and placement model that creates systemic and lasting community change. (Source: UNC Asheville Key Connect)
Barton and Leroy stepped down from G0! Leadership in 2014.
Read their statement here.
Find out more about Green Opportunities at greenopportunities.org.