With a veritable ‘who’s who’ of community leaders present, ProsperUs, a collective of local non-profit, government, health care, education, labour, business, and inspired residents, announced a new shared vision for a more prosperous Windsor-Essex County at Mackenzie Hall in Windsor on Friday, September 14.
The collaborative partnership, co-chaired by Janice Kaffer from Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Noah Tepperman from Tepperman’s Furniture and Appliance, set out a ‘Cradle to Career’ vision to give children in Windsor-Essex the opportunities they need to succeed and unlock their potential. ‘Cradle to Career’ encompasses supporting children from before they are born through pre-natal health for moms all the way through to landing their first job as a young adult.
"Community-level change is so big, so complex, that no one person or organization or level of government can be responsible for it all on their own,” says ProsperUs Co-Chair Noah Tepperman. “This vision of a future of a prosperous and resilient Windsor-Essex County, in which every young person has the opportunity and support to succeed from Cradle to Career... creating that specific future will take each of us saying, ‘This vision is ours and its mine, and I'm going to participate because it can't happen without me.’”
The work of ProsperUs will be backboned by United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, which will provide the organizational support to drive the ProsperUs vision forward.
“With the wholehearted support of our Board and our donors, United Way is making a long-term commitment to the Cradle to Career vision and will be shifting our entire organization to drive toward innovative solutions that will help kids achieve their dreams and reach their potential,” says Lorraine Goddard, CEO of United Way. “It’s important for us to level the playing field for children across neighbourhoods in our community. The reality is that some kids need a head start to reach the finish line. United Way is grateful to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many amazing community partners.”
The 30+ organizations that are part of the ProsperUs collaborative to date are all pooling new money, time and talent, demonstrating that this is more than a traditional collaboration. Many of them expressed their ‘all in’ support at the media event, including the city’s mayor, the county’s warden, leaders from local school boards, hospitals, business, labour, and the social services sector. The collaborative will collect and share data and measure shared targets that will drive at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and youth.
“With a vision to transform healthcare and cultivate a healthier community, we at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare believe this begins with investing in the future of our children,” says ProsperUs Co-Chair and hospital CEO Janice Kaffer. “A powerful strategy to improve educational outcomes results in healthy individuals, families and ultimately Windsor-Essex. We are excited to be part of ProsperUs and the future of our community’s young people.”
Goddard explained that the media launch is just the beginning of a conversation that will continue to bring partners, investors, industry experts, students, residents and families to the table.
“A lot of great work has happened in the community but we need to do better to move the needle on important community issues like the mental health, well-being and education of our children, because that’s what is going to make us a thriving community a generation from now,” says Goddard.
Over the next few months United Way will lead the community consultations, including 1-to-1 and group consultations.
“We want to hear directly from the community on how we can improve outcomes for children and families,” says Kaffer. “We invite the WHOLE community but particularly young people and resident families, to step forward and get involved because only by working together and streamlining services can we make our community stronger.”
ProsperUs will also begin to narrow in on the key milestones it will focus on and measure over time, and undertake an extensive community and expert consultation in co-designing the interventions that will help improve results in these milestone areas. It will also identify target neighbourhoods where the interventions will be launch.
ProsperUs plans to report back to the community next spring on the specific, multi-year goals that will turn its vision for a prosperous, healthy community into a reality.
To stay up to date on future announcements and community consultation dates, visit www.weunlockpotential.com or follow ProsperUs on Twitter and Facebook (WEProsperUs). General inquiries can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, 300 Giles Blvd. E., Unit A1, Windsor, ON N9A 4C4.
Karen Brady, Marketing & Communications Manager
United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
Work: 519-258-0000 x 1213 | Mobile: 519-564-8554
Statements from members of the ProsperUs Leadership Council:
Lori Atkinson, Libro Credit Union
“At Libro Credit Union, everything we do is with the goal of growing prosperity in our communities. This means having a positive impact on our surroundings, and asking the question “is what I’m doing making someone’s life better?” This is what we call our Prosperity Purpose.”
Jeffrey Berryman, Acting Provost and Vice-President Academic, University of Windsor
“As a public institution of higher learning, the University of Windsor is rightly entrusted to build social cohesion and civic engagement and produce vibrant scholarly work that represents, reflects, and enriches Windsor and Essex County. Because this pursuit is noble only when it is shared widely within society, we are proud to support an inclusive cradle-to-career vision for Windsor-Essex. UWindsor endeavours to build accessible pathways to education that ensure the possibilities of success and representation for every member of the many diverse communities to which the University belongs.”
Dino Chiodo, Auto Director, UNIFOR National Office
“Cradle to career is a path that facilitates a positive directional plan to help support individuals that are making life changing decisions. ProsperUs’ vision can provide children of all ages the opportunity to unlock possibilities for a productive future, giving them the support needed to succeed.”
Mayor Drew Dilkens, City of Windsor
“ProsperUs echoes the language contained in City Council’s 20 Year Vision such as support, leverage, partnerships, and collaboration, recognizing that no single organization or sector can solve a problem on its own and that we need to work together as a collective whole especially when tackling complex, community issues.”
Shelley Fellows, Radix Inc.
“As an entrepreneurial manufacturing technology company committed to Windsor/Essex, Radix relies on highly skilled engineers, programmers and trades. A community driven focus on the formative years of our youth will ensure that our region has the right workforce with the right skills to support the growth and momentum of our regional economy.”
Janice Forsyth, Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce
“The mission of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce (WERCC) is to contribute directly to our members’ success. The WERCC supports the cradle to career vision for our community as ultimately it will foster upward mobility, strengthen business competitiveness, and improve economic opportunities. Working together we can build a healthy community where every person has an opportunity to thrive.”
Patricia France, St. Clair College
“One might think that St. Clair’s involvement in the “Cradle to Career” philosophy deals only with the latter stages of the educational process. But when one considers that we teach hundreds of students every year in Early Childhood Education, Child and Youth Care, Autism and Behavioural Sciences, Developmental Services Workers and a number of other youth-oriented programs, it is clear that the College, its students and graduates support the growth and well-being of members of our community, from infancy to adulthood.”
Lorraine Goddard, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County
“With the wholehearted support of our Board and our donors, United Way is making a long-term commitment to the Cradle to Career vision and will be shifting our entire organization to drive toward innovative solutions that will help kids achieve their dreams and reach their potential. It’s important for us to level the playing field for children across neighbourhoods in our community. The reality is that some kids need a head start to reach the finish line. United Way is grateful to stand shoulder to shoulder with so many amazing community partners.”
Brian Hogan, Windsor and District Labour Council
“WDLC enthusiastically supports ProsperUs and the Cradle to Career vision. It is a wonderful opportunity to work with so many collaborators to care for our community's greatest treasure - our children.”
Jim Inglis, BMO Financial Group
“At BMO we seek to collaborate with organizations that see opportunity within difficult situations and challenge the status quo; those with passion and bold ideas who seek to deliver new and sustainable solutions to ever-evolving challenges. That’s why we’re supporting Cradle to Career, an innovative program to improve economic opportunities for children living in low-income neighbourhoods.”
Therese Johnson, Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society
“The Windsor-Essex Children’s Aid Society believes that every child should have the opportunity to aspire to his or her dreams. For this reason, we support the cradle to career approach of ProsperUs which enables our community to be a navigator for assuring success.”
Janice Kaffer, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare
“With a vision to transform healthcare and cultivate a healthier community, we at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare believe this begins with investing in the future of our children. A powerful strategy to improve educational outcomes results in healthy individuals, families and ultimately Windsor-Essex. We are excited to be part of ProsperUs and the future of our community’s young people.”
Erin Kelly, Greater Essex County District School Board
“…The project ahead has the potential to help our community.”
Terry Lyons, Windsor Essex Catholic District School Board
“An essential component of our school board's mission has always been to care for the most vulnerable among us, so we fully support ProsperUs' efforts to ensure that no child is left behind. By providing all children with the opportunity to succeed, we can ultimately build a community that's more caring and prosperous for all.”
Stephen MacKenzie, WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation
“The WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation is proud to support ProsperUs, the Collective Impact Organization with a vision of a prosperous Windsor-Essex where every young person has the opportunity and support to succeed from Cradle to Career. The main goal of any EDC is to assist in the creation of investment, wealth, and jobs, as well as to improve the quality of life for all residents in the region it serves. The Cradle to Career vision and program supports this goal in a number of ways, including unlocking the potential of our youth, and providing them with access to resources and opportunities they need to succeed. A generation from now, Windsor-Essex will be a more prosperous region due in large part to the fact that Cradle to Career will have contributed to the development of a well-educated and prepared workforce that will be needed to fuel continued economic growth and prosperity.”
Robert Maisonville, County of Essex
“The County of Essex is proud to be an engaged partner of ProsperUs. Childhood poverty affects nearly every community. By supporting the cradle to career vision for our region, we are ensuring the availability and access to quality education and supports for children, empowering their potential for success and the prosperity of future generations.”
Theresa Marentette, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit
“The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit pursues our vision for a healthy community by supporting collaborative opportunities like the Cradle to Career collective initiative through ProsperUs. Addressing the social determinants of health that impact children and youth in our community can alter their future in positive and meaningful ways. The progressive impact of ProsperUs will be evident in years to come with better outcomes for the student populations of Windsor-Essex County.”
Glenn Miller, Essex County Ontario Provincial Police
“The members and staff of the Essex County OPP are committed to public safety and innovative policing methods that engage the community and create partnerships designed to support the diverse and vulnerable populations that we serve. Reducing poverty, supporting children and families, and strengthening our communities are foundations to our commitment of creating safer communities.”
David Musyj, Windsor Regional Hospital
“Windsor Regional Hospital supports ProsperUs with a hope to try to support individuals in our community from even before the cradle to have the opportunities they might not have, through no fault of their own, and give them a chance to overcome these obstacles that are placed in front of them.”
Judith Obatusa, Community Resident
"I am supporting the ProsperUs cradle to career vision for our community because it will secure the future of Windsor-Essex. Every child in our community deserves the opportunity to fulfill their potential without limitations, and the ProsperUs cradle to career vision will make that possible. Today's child is tomorrow's leader and an investment into the cradle to career vision is an investment to ensure the well-being and prosperity of Windsor-Essex."
Jelena Payne, City of Windsor
“The ProsperUs initiative is built on the foundation of Collective Impact methodology and principals which brings together a diverse cross-section of organizations. The ProsperUs team works collaboratively with a singular focus for our community – to reduce poverty through targeted social investment. The focus on “Cradle to Career” ensures that all residents of Windsor-Essex are provided a stable base and empowered to choose their direction for success and the best quality of life.”
Joseph Picard, Director of Education, Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
ProsperUs provides a unique and important opportunity for school boards to collaborate with community partners, improving educational experiences for students while preparing them for post-secondary jobs or education. At the same time, these partnerships allow us to participate in community improvement while striving to make our region world class.
Reza Shahbazi, New Canadians' Centre of Excellence
Why do you support ProsperUs? “To promote the full and equitable engagement and participation of immigrants and refugees in our community.”
Michelle Suchiu, Workforce WindsorEssex
“Workforce WindsorEssex supports the Cradle to Career Strategy because it aims to help young people achieve better employment outcomes in our community, while ensuring a stronger talent pipeline for local employers today and tomorrow.”
Noah Tepperman, ProsperUs Co-Chair, Owner Tepperman’s Furniture and Appliances
"Community-level change is so big, so complex, that no one person or organization or level of government can be responsible for it all on their own. This vision of a future of a prosperous and resilient Windsor/Essex County, in which every young person has the opportunity and support to succeed from Cradle to Career... creating that specific future will take each of us saying "This vision is ours and its mine, and I'm going to participate because it can't happen without me".
Carolyn Warkentin, South Essex Community Council
“South Essex Community Council supports ProsperUs because its cradle to career vision fits with our mission, vision and values and because we can only make significant and lasting changes in our community when we are all sharing the same goals and are engaged in taking action together to ensure we all succeed.”