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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Launch Pad Transportation Pilot To End

Hanover | by Robyn Garvey  

Municipal dollars needed to continue program serving youth in West Grey, Brockton, South Bruce and Arran-Elderslie

For the last year Hanover’s Launch Pad has been offering a free taxi service to out of town youth enrolled in the after school programs.

But if this service is to continue, it will require municipal dollars.

The transportation pilot project which was funded by the Saugeen Economic Development Corporation is drawing to a close at the end of the month.

Launch Pad Executive Director Emily Morrison says if this program is to continue, they will need area municipalities to contribute.

Armed with a years worth of statistics, Morrison is reaching out to area municipalities requesting municipal dollars to help keep the transportation project going.

The transportation pilot project was offered to youth in West Grey, Brockton, South Bruce and Arran Elderslie.

Those youth enrolled in Launch Pad's afterschool programming received free taxi services from their community to Launch Pad and back again.

As for the year ahead, Morrison says they are making a few changes to Launch Pad’s summer programming.
Beginning this summer Launch Pad’s hours will be extended from 10 am till 6 pm. Previous summers Launch Pad did not open until 3:30 pm.

Launch Pad has also applied for government funding to hire a summer student.

If successful, Morrison says Launch Pad plans to offer a Seniors Daytime Program, this of course will be contingent on government funding.

This year, Morrison say Launch Pad will also begin developing business plans for social enterprises.

She says this would involve youth producing a product and selling it, the profits could be used to hire more youth to continue to create the products.

Morrison says the new woodshop on site could play a key role in developing such social enterprise ventures.

She says the entire purpose of Launch Pad is to provide youth with skill development opportunities.

Morrison notes that based on the Grey Bruce Community Foundation’s Vital Signs Report in 2016, over 90 percent of youth in Grey-Bruce intend to complete some form of post-secondary education.

Sadly 60 percent of youth surveyed do not expect to find a job or live in this region after school.

Morrison says Launch Pad is trying to help stop the out migration of our youth by introducing them to various skills trades and technical job opportunities right here in Grey Bruce.

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