In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, YWCA Halifax was able to receive funding from ESDC to expand Launch, our longstanding employment program for young women. Belinda, who had previously been our Launch Coordinator, was promoted to Launch Atlantic Team Lead as the program was replicated in Moncton and St. John’s. She supported and oversaw six staff in three provinces as they developed and delivered an employment program for diverse young women and gender diverse people who were impacted by the pandemic.
Under Belinda’s leadership, in just over a year, Launch Atlantic engaged with over 120 employers and had 48 employers host participants in work experiences. Launch Atlantic also engaged with 93 community organizations. Despite the pandemic and lockdown, at least 50% of 66 participants in the first year were employed still 12 weeks after the project was completed. This is especially important since 27% of participants identified as racialized minorities, 10% as Indigenous, and 19% as persons with disAbilities. $1M.
As a result of her leadership, the contract was renewed for 18 months at $2.2M. And now, YWCA Halifax has received word that we have been funded for ReLaunch Atlantic, serving older workers impacted by the pandemic, for another $2.4M. None of this would have been possible without Belinda’s vision, dedication, and leadership.
(These excerpts have been taken from the Nominators’ writeups.)