Two Sudbury nonprofits ‘take the next step’ with a new collaborative workspace

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Community Builders and Future North are hosting open houses to welcome their community partners to their new spaces

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Two local nonprofits are poised to grow thanks to their newly opened collaborative workspace.

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Community Builders and Future North held an open house last week to welcome their community partners to their new spaces for the first time.

Located at 955 Cambrian Heights Drive, the space will house the two organizations, both of which hope to expand their services and further establish themselves in Greater Sudbury.

“There is a lot of synergy between our two organizations,” said Carly Gasparini, general manager at Community Builders. “We clearly have similar mandates and missions, and we both needed a space to take the next step. It just felt natural to do it together.”

Community Builders is a nonprofit training program for building social businesses. The Company undertakes projects that involve the refurbishment of residential buildings, with a focus on affordable housing units. But their main goal is to offer on-the-job training to people with employment barriers.

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Gasparini said they would take on anyone struggling to find work who wants to learn. She said many factors can make it difficult for people to find work, including lack of access to transportation or childcare, housing insecurity, poverty and food insecurity, a conviction on their permanent record, or previous struggles with addiction.

“As a team, our goal is to move as many people as possible away from some of these barriers that have been preventing them from entering the job market and into an industry like construction or labor,” she said.

Future North, also a non-profit, is an advocacy network that helps young people navigate Sudbury and find opportunities while working with youth to improve the resources available to them.

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“Future North needed a place where youth could feel welcome and where they could access our staff and services,” says program director Kamilah Francis. “Partnering with Community Builders to share this space allows us to expand the program we offer to youth in our community and helps us build our community partnerships as we grow into an independent nonprofit organization. “

According to Gasparini, the organizations wanted their new common space to be welcoming and welcoming to the people they serve.

“It’s a space that can be used to connect with the community, but it’s also a viable store,” she said. “It’s a place for individuals to learn, an environment that allows us to meet their needs and give them a great hands-on learning experience.”

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Away from the main reception area are offices for both organisations. There is also a spacious shop area stocked with a wide range of tools to enable trainees to learn in-house and then apply those skills on site. A room has been earmarked for a closed classroom, which will be completed in the next few months, as well as a dining room.

Gasparini said Community Builders has trained eight people at its previous office since it began operations in Sudbury a year ago. The new space will allow them to train up to 20 people in each cohort of a 15-week program.

“Stepping into this space is absolutely critical to moving forward as an organization,” she said. “It’s the next step in our evolution where we can really get going and get this thing off the ground.”

The local journalism initiative is made possible by federal funding.

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Twitter: @mia_rjensen

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