Nova Scotia

Ottawa puts $2.6M toward Horizon employment centre in Sydney

The centre offers vocational training and employment help for adults with mental disabilities or people who face multiple barriers. 

Province already pledged $2M to expand vocational training for adults with mental disabilities

The new facility will be in Harbourside Commercial Park located beside Open Hearth Park. (Brent Kelloway)

The federal government is committing $2.6 million to help build a new facility for the Horizon Achievement Centre in Sydney, N.S..

The centre offers vocational training and employment help for adults with mental disabilities and people who face multiple barriers to working. 

This comes after Premier Stephen McNeil visited their current facility in February and committed $2 million in funding from the province.

Abby Stapleton works in the bakery and catering departments of the centre. She's excited for the new facility and its location.

Abby Stapleton works in the bakery and catering departments of the Horizon Achievement Centre. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

"It's going to be perfect. There's a lot of room there and plus, there is a track if somebody wants to go for a walk," said Stapleton.

The new facility will be in Harbourside Commercial Park located beside Open Hearth Park.

Stapleton said there will be a lot of advantages for those who work there.

"I have a feeling there's going to be a lot of people that are willing to work at that building because there's going to be a lot more stuff to learn," said Stapleton.

The estimated cost of the entire project is $6.4 million. Along with the government funding, the centre also raised over $1 million in 2016 through a Chase the Ace draw

Horizon Achievement Centre will pay for the balance of the cost.

Jaime Battiste, MP for Sydney-Victoria, attended the event today and made the announcement of federal funding on behalf of Maryam Monsef, the minister for rural economic development.

The funding is through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure section of the Investing in Canada program. 

The current facility can work with 130 clients and Battiste said the new facility would allow the centre to help more people.

"We can make sure that all those who want to be a part of the economy, all of those opportunities, and all of that potential, isn't wasted," said Battiste. "This is going to be great."

Ground levelling has begun at the new site. They hope to open it next year. 

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