This is from GO–this organization is an absolute pioneer in socially just job training and creation.
On the last day of January, Green Opportunities (GO) crew members Giovanni McKnight, Ed Holloman, and Matthew Martinez finished up home weatherization measures for a home on Carroll Avenue, marking the hundredth Asheville residence weatherized through GO’s free home weatherization program.
Since September 2009, GO has partnered with the City of Asheville, the Western North Carolina Green Building Council, and Community Action Opportunities to provide free home weatherization measures for Asheville residents who earn under 200% of the federal poverty scale. With financing from federal stimulus money and a city of Asheville Community Development Block Grant, GO has been able to employ over a dozen people over the past two and a half years, offering the opportunity for members to gain skills and experience in a growing field while providing up to $6,000 worth of work on each home for free.
Green Opportunities is an Asheville-based nonprofit dedicated to improving lives, communities and the health of the planet through innovative green collar job training and placement programs. The GO Weatherization Assistance Training Team (WATT) is a paid apprenticeship program designed to prepare GO Training Team graduates for clean energy careers while improving the efficiency of houses in low-wealth neighborhoods. Ed Holloman, after his term on the GO Training Team, became the first state-registered WATT apprentice. He’s been gaining weatherization experience in the field as part of the WATT crew, but will soon move on to an apprenticeship with GO’s Home Energy Rating System rater, where his experience on the crew will assist in his mastery of home energy auditing.
Jessie Mae Jones, a recent recipient of GO’s free home weatherization measures, has expressed as much enthusiasm for GO’s dedication to training local residents with barriers to employment as she has for the improvements done to her house. “Everybody that came to help me did a beautiful job; I have no complaints,” she recently testified. “Most of all I’m so thankful that you all are training all races of young [people] today, because we need this.”