Blog

Blog

Get The Election Choices Here!

People have been talking a lot about politics recently. Maybe you’ve noticed. Maybe you’ve wanted to do something about it. Maybe you’ve been struggling to find a way to make a difference. Sometimes government seems big, opaque, and far away, but next week we have a chance to vote in an election that will undoubtedly have real, tangible, local results.  At GTECH, we work regularly with fantastic public officials (and aspiring public officials) throughout the county, from Mayors, to council people, to…

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Roots of Steel

Last Friday, we kicked off a new phase of our ReClaim Clairton Ambassador program, project implementation. Just as in past Ambassador programs, each participant receives access to a $3,000 micro-fund to assist in the implementation of a greenspace project they have spent the last 8 months creating with support from their neighbors, friends, and communities. Leading the pack was Sue Viglioti, who was motivated to participate in the ReClaim Clairton program by the love of her home town and the people…

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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 2: Looking Forward

Read Part 1 of Andrew's series highlighting GTECH's 10 year anniversary. In Part 1, Andrew reflects back on GTECH's past and evolution. Now, he's looking forward and getting ready to celebrate! There have been several guiding principles embedded in GTECH’s theory of change and ethos over the last decade.  Those principles have informed our strategy and evolution - and have manifested into some of our most exciting work underway now and paving the foundation for the next 10 years of growth…

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Pittsburgh Land Bank: Resources & Final Public Meeting

What is a land bank exactly? This may be a question you’ve never thought about. But for folks like me, who look at the vacant property in our neighborhoods as an opportunity to enrich communities, I was keen on attending the first Pittsburgh Land Bank public meeting, which happened to be on the West End (also my side of town). The Pittsburgh Land Bank’s role will be to aid in the recycling and repurposing of land, stabilization of standing structures,…

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Welcome Rachel!

We're excited to welcome Rachel to the GTECH team! Name: Rachel Bowers Position: Project Coordinator Hometown: Baltimore, MD Background: Rachel has a BS in Environmental Health from the University of Maryland. In Baltimore, she worked for a local organization coordinating a garden and environmental education program for elementary students. While in Baltimore, she became a certified Baltimore TreeKeeper and was trained in the business and science of small-scale agriculture through a program called the Beginner Farmer Training Program. What led…

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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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Unlikely Lessons from the Roman Empire

Whenever March rolls around I generally have two thoughts: Why is it still cold? How many years has it now been since Julius Caesar’s assassination? I imagine many share my first thought, but far fewer share my second. Most of my friends are more interested in celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or trying to one-up each other with the number of digits of pi they have memorized on Pi Day. (Yes, I hang out with some cool people.) But as someone…

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Announcing, the PGH Mobile Toolbox!

  We have been working hard to prepare our latest resource for vacant lot cleaning and greening efforts. Introducing the PGH Mobile Toolbox, a tool library on wheels, ready for your next workday or cleanup! This resource is brought to you through our partnership with Neighborhood Allies and is intended to fill the resource gap between project inspiration and its implementation. Through our experience, we found no shortage of good ideas and residents who are motivated to execute them. However,…

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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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