The Co-operators Group, via its Community Economic Development Fund, has donated a total of C$120,000 to eight Canadian organizations that seek to improve the self-reliance and employability of marginalized youth and people with mental difficulties.
"The services and supports [these organizations] provide make individuals more self-sufficient and communities more inclusive and equitable." said Cathy Bardswick, president and CEO of the Co-operators.
The following organizations received funding:
Choices for Youth – St. John's, N.L. ($20,000)
This organization provides skills training and employment in the construction field for at-risk and homeless youth to prepare them for secure and long-term employment.
Open Sky Co-operative - Southeast Region, N.B. ($10,000)
Open Sky helps young adults with social or mental challenges. It provides residential support, vocational training, and personal skills development. The grant will help its “Roots of Resilience” program, which seeks to develop the skills necessary for employment.
Destination travail de Sud-Ouest de l'île de Montréal – LaSalle, Que. ($20,000)
The organization holds an alternative community class provides marginalized youth with employability and entrepreneurship training.
Furniture Bank - Etobicoke, Ont. ($20,000)
Furniture Link, the company’s social enterprise, delivers and picks-up furniture that provides life and job skills training to at-risk youth by on-the-job training and paid 6-month work placements.
FortWhyte Alive – Winnipeg, Man. ($10,000)
FortWhyte Farms is a social enterprise that seeks to provide inner-city youth with skills and job readiness via sustainable urban agriculture and beekeeping.
Ignite Adult Learning Corporation Foundation – Regina, Sask. ($10,000)
The FLAMES program (Fostering Learning and Marketable Employment Skills) of Ignite includes in-house work and apprenticeship with a local employer for at-risk young adults ages 19 to 30.
Foothill Special Needs Association for Parents and Siblings – High River, Alta. ($20,000)
Foothill’s HIRE (Having Inclusive Rewarding Employment) helps people ages 18 and up with mental health issues to overcome their barriers to employment. The project focuses on creating community/employer opportunities and provides education and support to potential employers.
Take a Hike Youth at Risk Foundation – Vancouver, B.C. ($10,000)
Take a Hike’s alternative education program combines adventure, academics, therapy, and community involvement in serving at-risk youth. It partners with other organizations to provide equipment, work placements, and hands-on training.