What makes GTECH great

As my official last week of my internship here at GTECH commences, I wanted to reflect on my time as an intern, my favorite experiences, and why I am proud to call myself a GTECHer. This past weekend I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with my Masters in Social Work, with a concentration in Community and Social Action (COSA). Many people do not associate social workers with nonprofits who work with communities to reclaim and invest in vacant land,…

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What Keeps Me Grounded

      The one thing that keeps me grounded is the opportunity not only to revitalize vacant land but more importantly the chance to revive the sense of comradery within the communities where we work. In the fall of 2016, GTECH recruited a dozen Hill District residents, called Ambassadors, to lead the movement for reclaiming vacant lots. For six months, the Ambassadors participated in classes and workshops to learn about the process of reclaiming vacant land. Throughout the classes, the Ambassadors designed vacant…

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GTECHers Share What Keeps Them Grounded

With GTECH's birthday just around the corner -- our real birthday is this Sunday(!) but we're celebrating next week -- the staff spent some time reflecting on what GTECH's turning 10 means to them. While it is easy to point to major accomplishments and milestones as being influential to our development over the past 10 years, it is the day-to-day things that truly stand out. The everyday interactions with community members, partners, volunteers, designers, planners, and policymakers continues to have the…

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Part 1: Looking Back at GTECH’s First 10 Years

Some highlights from GTECH’s first 10 years, from the Swiss Cheese Memory of Co-Founder and CEO Andrew Butcher Part 1: Looking Back  In reflecting upon all of the glory, trials and tribulations, humor, and defining moments of the last 10 years I am awash with memories and nostalgia.  The following is a series of brief snapshots of some unique moments worthy of sharing as we begin to celebrate ten years of Growth Through Energy + Community Health.   I’ll never…

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An Open Thank You Letter to The GTECH Community:

The day has finally come.  Today is my last day as a GTECH Strategies employee.  While I will remain affiliated as an Emeritus Board Member - my time as a staff member is officially complete as of March 1.  I find myself feeling a strange combination of nostalgia and pride.   Ultimately, I am overcome with gratitude and humility.  The last ten years have been a spectacular entrepreneurial journey - and I have learned, experienced, and grown more than I…

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GTECH is Grounded. For Good.

GTECH’s new Executive Director, Evaine K. Sing, chose the above quote to represent our mindset as we celebrate our 10 year anniversary. In a letter to GTECH’s network earlier this month, Evaine shared her thoughts on this momentous and exciting occasion. She bid farewell to our founder and CEO, Andrew Butcher, and reflected on what the past 10 years has enabled GTECH to accomplish. The last decade has given GTECH the opportunity to move forward and approach work in the…

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Volunteer

GTECH Super-Volunteer: Scott!

Building out projects like our Green Playces takes a lot of hard work.  If we had to it all ourselves, they'd never get done.  We love working with the users and neighbors of these spaces, but we also welcome volunteers from around Allegheny County (and beyond, if you like). One of these volunteers really stepped up for the build out of our Hill District Green Playce. He attended every one of our five build days and played a huge role in developing…

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walking biking

Northside neighborhood trail maps now available!

Whether you live in Pittsburgh's Northside or not, it's unlikely that you've been able to explore each and every one of its 18 neighborhoods. Now you can do just that! We have trail maps, fresh off the press, for each of the Northside's neighborhoods. Over the past 2 years we've worked alongside One Northside and Northside residents to map out important community treasures and identify the best routes to explore them. Not surprisingly, there are a lot of assets! Our…

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ReClaim Halloween

My earliest memory is of my neighbor popping out of his front door in a full pumpkin costume when I was trick-or-treating with my parents. I don’t know if there’s a causal link here, but Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. And, sort of relatedly, my favorite color is orange (which, if we believe this study, is one of the rarest favorite colors). I’ve always looked forward to having a house with a yard that I could decorate like…

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Opening Green Playces: McKeesport

  Last week in partnership with Trinity Church of God in Christ and Youth CAST, we successfully opened our fourth Green Playce! Every Green Playce is unique, and Green Playces: McKeesport in no exception.  The City of McKeesport has a rich history and our Green Playces Team wanted to honor the tradition of ingenuity as well as the connection to steel.  According to Tube City Online, "In 1872, the National Tube Works Company was founded to make steel and iron pipes…

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The Elephant in the Room

This post has been authored by Tacumba Turner, GTECH's newest Project Coordinator!  Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant  Properties Conference : “The Elephant in the room” By Tacumba Turner During the three day Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference I got the chance to observe an array of innovative strategies that have been implemented in recent years across the country. In reflecting on what was my first time attending the conference, there was one break-out session in particular that resonated with me. The topic was…

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“Growth” v. Growth – Remembering the Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, 2016

GTECH stands for Growth Through Energy and Community Health.  It goes without saying that we think growth is important.  But we should clarify what we mean by growth, because not all growth is positive.  In fact, when growth becomes synonymous with success and excludes other metrics, it can be downright detrimental.  At the Reclaiming Vacant Properties conference (Baltimore, September 28-30), Congressman Dan Kildee referred to this phenomenon by insisting that we live in “a culture based entirely on the conflation…

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