Riverview Gardens, Inc.’s® (RVG) mission is to build dignity through job training and employment. RVG was founded in 2012 on the basic value that there is dignity in work. It is the collaborative transformation of a golf course and related country club. RVG founders, staff and thousands of community volunteers have come together to transform the property into A PLACE TO GROW. Working together, RVG has created interactive social enterprises that provide unlimited “on-the-job” training opportunities with sources of revenue, as well as an accessible, community park space, that serves the entire community. RVG’s transformative ServiceWorks® job-training program positively impacts hundreds of lives each year.

RVG’s five social enterprises are the mission muscle for our non-profit mission to provide job training for people in need. Reusing existing resources on the former golf course and country club, we offer five different social enterprise businesses where job-training participants can receive real “on the job” training that they can use immediately upon graduation from ServiceWorks. The social enterprises are varied enough in the types of work they offer participants such that individuals with a variety of interests and abilities can participate, and include: (1) certified-organic urban farm on former golf course fairways; (2) hydroponics greenhouse built over country club pool (only known hydroponics operation over former pool in U.S); (3) event and park space at former country club building and golf course fairways; (4) maintenance contracts for other non-profit organizations; (5) donated downtown Appleton building converted into collaborative and creative space to serve the mission. Work is a great venue for the motivation for lifelong learning. The work is customized and open-ended to allow people to start succeeding immediately. We have a triple “bottom line”: unlimited work for ServiceWorks participants; source of revenue for financial stability and opportunity for the community to engage as mentors.

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