Local nonprofit Green Opportunities oversees the Kitchen-Ready program, which provides basic training in kitchen techniques, career choices and money management to adults with financial constraints. The program is free for qualified applicants. Chef Mark Rosenstein, founder and former owner of The Market Place Restaurant, and chef Brian Good of Asheville Sandwich Company teach the classes.
Good says the graduation ceremony isn't the end of the students' time with GO. In fact, the longevity of the program hinges on their success. “We track their progress and where they're going so we can keep up with them and build a network,” he says. “Our students believe that they're part of something bigger than this one class, that they're part of this organization, this family. One day, they're going to be in a hiring position and looking at Green Opportunities graduates and thinking about how they can help them and hire them.”