On October 10, Thrive New Orleans graduated their ThriveWorks Green Workforce and Small Business 2023 Fall co-hort.

ThriveWorks Green is a workforce training program that equips the BIPOC community in developing climate solutions for New Orleans. The program also serves to close the critical skills gap between the growing demand for green workers and a local trained workforce. Participants took part in an 8-week, earn and learn curriculum where they were able to learn from innovative Green Industry experts and work in apprenticeships with industry leaders. ThriveWorks Green is committed to creating equitable opportunities and provides resources in housing, transportation, childcare, and more.

Thrive’s Green Business cohort focused on individual business owners who are currently working in green maintenance or individual businesses who are interested in transitioning into the SMGI space.  Throughout the cohort, the program provided back office operations assistance as well as hands-on training in green infrastructure/stormwater maintenance.

“We were happy to celebrate these graduates for their hard work and dedication to the training program, but also for what it means for their lives going forward,” said Thrive New Orleans Executive Director Chuck Morse. “ThriveWorks Green is a pathway to providing a stable life for individuals and their families and we hope even more interested citizens will join us for our upcoming co-horts.”

 The ceremony featured a keynote address from Louisiana Economic Development Director of Small Business Services Stephanie Hartman. Also at the ceremony, Thrive New Orleans Executive Director Morse and New Orleans City Councilmember Eugene Green presented seven special Jackie Robinson inspired Thrive jerseys to trailblazers who are blazing a path and advancing new systems for a more sustainable future and resilient economy.

 “Often times, you don’t see a lot of people of color in the green infrastructure and stormwater management space,” said Executive Director Morse. “Jackie Robinson was a pioneer who broke baseball’s color barrier and inspired other players of color to get involved in that field. These jerseys celebrate trailblazers of the Thrive New Orleans family who are not only leading the way, but also leaving the door open for others who are coming behind them to continue doing exemplary work in green infrastructure and stormwater management.”

“Jackie Robinson has two very notable quotes that I stir on as I think of the night of the graduation ceremony,” said Jeremiah Jones, a ThriveWorks Green participant who is also six months from graduating Tulane University with financial assistance from Thrive. “The first quote is ‘No matter how much or how little I knew technically, I was able to get the best out of the people I worked with’. This quote perfectly mirrors what it means to be successful in the Thrive program: being humble, kind and honest about what you know and always in search of more knowledge in the workplace and in life.”

 “The second quote I stir on would be ‘A life’s not important except in the impact it has on others lives’,” said Jeremiah. “This quote could be seen as a perfect encapsulation of Thrive’s way of teaching as cohort members are taken in and treated as family. Truly, the most valuable gem in the Thrive crown would be its sense of togetherness, brilliant career experts and steadfast village attitude and I am honored to be a part of it.”

Thrive New Orleans offers their earn while you learn Green Workforce Training Program throughout the year and welcomes interested participants to visit thrivenola.org to learn more information and to apply for the next co-hort.