For their leadership in providing construction trades training to youth in York Region and the GTA, while also filling gaps in the construction sector, the Construct program at Blue Door are the proud recipients of the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s 2021 Innovation Award.
Established in 2020, Construct – A Social Enterprise by Blue Door provides professional competitively priced high-quality residential and commercial construction and property services and in-class training, on-the-job work experience, and wraparound supports to help vulnerable individuals secure long-term, well-paying careers in the construction trades. By sourcing and bidding on jobs within the Greater Toronto Area, Construct turns job sites into on-the-job learning experiences helping to propel trainees into careers in the trades.
Within the first year of programming, Construct has helped more than 50 trainees graduate from the program and completed 57 jobs within the community. 85 per cent of graduates have been connected to full time employment, just 6 weeks after graduation.
The team at Construct – A Social Enterprise by Blue Door is thrilled and humbled to receive this Innovation award from the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association. Rudi, Senior Manager of Social Enterprise at Blue Door explains, “Celebrating our first year as a program in September was an accomplishment on its own, so being recognized with the Innovation award just inspires us to keep going. Winning the innovation award is the culmination of all of our efforts, from our staff to our partners, to our participants, we have worked tirelessly to create a program that spurs real change in our communities and works to break the cycle of homelessness. I am beyond proud of what Construct is and represents and will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible to continue to drive our organization forward and provide real value to the people we serve.”
One graduate of the program stated, “I didn’t know anything about construction when I started, and now I am in the Union and working full-time!” The Construct program operates with the goal to prevent homelessness through training for sustainable careers.
Construct not only works to provide training, but also fills a gap for skilled workers in the local construction sector. One happy York Region resident explains her experience as a customer, “I had a truly positive experience with Construct GTA for my mini bathroom reno…an experienced and highly skilled leader attends the job site with trainees; youth who are eager to learn and start their trades careers. (Construct)…responded quickly to my inquiry and were professional, polite, and provided a competitive quote. Thanks to the amazing Construct crew and the wonderful people who started this initiative.” – Leslie, York Region Resident & Customer.
Founded in 1988, ONPHA is a member funded and directed association that represents nearly 700 non-profit housing providers and local housing corporations throughout the province. ONPHA’s vision is to open doors through housing, allowing all people to thrive. The ONPHA Conference is one of North America’s premiere housing conferences. With over 1,000 local, national, and international delegates and speakers who delve into topics on everything from property management and maintenance to tenant support and strategic planning for organization’s and for the future of community housing in Ontario.
The Innovation award will be presented to Construct – A Social Enterprise by Blue Door during ONPHA’s virtual conference held online Nov. 10-12. The awards ceremony can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebtEzWWDHug