The Co-operators gives more than $360,000 to organizations aimed at helping marginalized youth

By The IJ Staff | September 06 2017 11:30AM

The Co-operators today announced that it has donated $366,500 in grants to 15 organizations across Canada that enhance the employability of marginalized young Canadians and those with mental health challenges.

Through its Community Economic Development (CED) Funds, The Co-operators supports organizations that help vulnerable people develop and achieve their potential.

Among the recipients is Ignite Adult Learning Corporation of Regina, a not-for-profit community-based employer that uses a business entrepreneurial approach to solve social issues inherent in marginalized young adults. "Poverty is expensive for everyone, and with the support of organizations like The Co-operators, we are able to help more local people develop their independence," explained Carlo Bizzarri, program manager at Ignite. "Investing in young adults is wealth creation for a generation."

Gaining employment experience

Among the grants announced today is the second of three contributions to Ignite that will total $90,000 over three years. To date, the funding has helped cover training costs for 18 participants who have upgraded their academics, gained employment experience, obtained drivers' permits, conducted mock interviews and learned a variety of employability skills over the course of a 40-week program. At the end of the program, 12 participants were employed and Ignite was helping four others seek employment.

"It is a pleasure to support organizations such as Ignite, which make such an impact on the lives of the young people they help and, in the process, build more inclusive and resilient communities," said Rob Wesseling, president and CEO of The Co-operators. "Every day across the country, community-based organizations provide services that help Canadians develop independence, financial self-reliance and brighter futures for themselves and their families."