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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
June 16, 2016

On the Button

As the MLA for Wolseley, I am proud today to stand up and com­mend the community organization, New Directions, which is now providing training, education and career experience to Manitoba families. They've recently launched a new and creative business called On the Button, which exclusively employs young women who are in the care of Child and Family Services.

This program now means that six young women, mostly between the ages of 18 and 20, have part- time jobs. The On the Button program was actually built off the initial success of New Directions' other program, Genesis, which supported men who faced barriers to employment related to incarceration.

At the On the Button program, these young women are provided–or, providing invaluable experiences and services to Winnipeg businesses and individuals. A client sends them a design or logo and the employees produce the buttons and promotional materials to order.

Madam Speaker, these young women are responsible for every aspect of production, gaining valuable skills in printing, production, accounting, billing and more. Projects like the On the Button program and Genesis are a part of our provincial Social Enterprise Strategy, brought in by our previous government. Ms. Liz Wolff, a project manager at New Directions, has stated that, in the case of the Genesis project, every dollar that our government invested resulted in a social return of over a dollar and a half, proving that these programs have what it takes to improve Manitoba com­munities.

Madam Speaker, social enterprises are an exciting community-driven shift that take traditional business practices and ground them in community ownership and progressive values, such as jobs for people who might not have them otherwise.

Thank you to all the hardworking people at New Directions, and in our community, and con­gratulations specifically to the women in the On the Button program for your future success.