Shirley Peeples, Barbara Thompson Andrews, Molly McLaughlin, Susan Mahoney, Ros McCue, Lorraine Shaw, Cathy Best, and Wanda Choquette with Jenny Milligan and Della Longmire at the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program graduation.
By Lawrence Powell
It’s never too late to realize your dreams. That’s what eight women came to find out when they signed up for the Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program at the Women’s Place Resource Centre in Annapolis Royal. On January 17 they graduated and most of them were well on their way to opening their own businesses.
Shirley Peebles wants to open Sew Special – Experienced Alterations and Custom Sewing in Bridgetown. Barbara Thompson Andrews’ business will be Nanny’s Fitted Playpen Sheets in Annapolis Royal. Molly McLaughlin, also in Annapolis Royal, is finishing up the business plan for Quills ‘n’ Quilts, specializing in quilts, handbags, and hand-quilted gifts.
Perhaps the first to finish will be Susan Mahoney of Caledonia who plans to open the doors on Medway River Trails & Yurts Eco-Tourism in August. She’s already got a start on developing the land in an area that is already a mecca for backpackers and campers.
Jenny Milligan was the coordinator for the eight-week program that was visited by both Premier Stephen McNeil and West Nova MP Greg Kerr while the women were developing their plans.
During that visit Women’s Place executive director Della Longmire extolled the virtues of the program.
“Over the last few years, this program has provided training and employment for many women in the Annapolis area, benefiting both them and their families,” Longmire said. “Not only does it provide women with essential skills to open a new business, it also teaches us that a new journey can begin at any age.”
Kerr returned for the January 17 graduation at the Annapolis Basin Conference Centre and was called upon to hand out the graduation certificates for the federally funded program.
Longmire praised the women for their success and each of the eight graduates was presented with mementos of the occasion – gifts and a description of their personalities and strengths as compiled by each other.
Diana Crowell, executive director of Jane’s Fund in Lunenburg was the guest speaker and told the women of her many years of experience as a businessperson – particularly taking over her father’s eel exporting business in Yarmouth. She gave the women advice on operating their own businesses and wished them success.
Cathy Best is one of the other graduates and she hopes to open Nanny’s Best Bakery in Bridgetown. Wanda Choquette hopes to manage a bead and breakfast with many value-added features.
Two unique dreams come from Lorraine Shaw and Ros McCue. Shaw hopes to open a business called Inner Growth – Horticultural Therapy Greenhouse from which she would teach horticultural therapy. McCue is working on Baby Whisperers Doula Services Birthing Services and also Wind Spirit Market Garden Birth Assistance in Bear River.
The Targeted Initiative for Older Workers program is funded through the cost-shared Age Advantage Plus, a joint initiative between Ottawa and the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education.