Renaissance’s mission is to create jobs
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The Île-Perrot bookstore is an integral part of Renaissance’s mission. An honourary plaque was presented by Renaissance Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pierre Legault to former Mayor Marc Roy last June because of the large number of items that were donated to the outlet during the annual Renaissance Challenge which is held each spring and fall.
Helping people get back into the workforce is the mission of Renaissance, a non-profit organization that has served Montreal area communities since its creation in 1995, said Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pierre Legault.
Legault spoke to The Journal on Tuesday, March 6, to clarify an apparent misleading post that was recently made in a regional off-island Facebook community group by a member who claimed the money raised by the Renaissance Île-Perrot bookstore outlet is reinvested back in Montreal instead of the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region.
Unlike other charitable groups, Renaissance uses all contributions and donations to help fund its outlets throughout Montreal, Laval, the South Shore and through its small book outlet in Île-Perrot. “We collect goods from all over greater Montreal and other regions. We try to open stores in different locations. We just opened one on the South Shore and we’re going to open another one in Laval,” said Legault.
Job creation program
What distinguishes Renaissance from other not-profit organizations is its commitment to help people find jobs. “We create positions for people who have difficulty finding a job or who have not worked for years so they can regain their self-esteem and learn about the demands of a full-time job,” said Legault.
“We created a few jobs at Renaissance Île-Perrot and the money is being used for our program all around Montreal. We’re not an organization that collects goods, sells them and gives to other groups because the money is used for our own retraining program,” said Legault.
“We helped to place 300 people into jobs last year. We get people back into the work force through the collection of second-hand goods,” said Legault. When employees finish their training program, they’re not limited to working only in Montreal. They can find suitable employment in the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region or any other area if they choose, he added.
Job search centres
As part of its ongoing job reintegration program, Renaissance has opened job search centres in their larger stores. “Anybody who is not working and is looking for help either to write a resume, how to use different job search sites on the internet or for someone to listen to them for what they’re looking for, we can help,” said Legault.
“We have a few computers and we have a permanent staff to help people. This is totally paid by Renaissance,” he added.
Rather than relying on collection bins, Renaissance encourages people to donate their clothes and other household items they no longer use to their retail outlets. This initiative led to the creation of other smaller stores which are also regarded as donation centres.
“We were rapidly accepted by the population. Eventually we decided to give back by opening second-hand bookstores and sell knick-knacks and different small things,” said Legault.
The Île-Perrot bookstore is an integral part of Renaissance’s mission. An honourary plaque was presented by Legault to former Mayor Marc Roy last June because of the large number of items that were donated to the outlet during the annual Renaissance Challenge which is held each spring and fall.
There were 125.5 donors for each 1,000 inhabitants and 46,130 pounds of clothes and other items were brought to the Renaissance Île-Perrot store between April 23 and May 20 in 2017.
“It’s a friendly rivalry between 16 neighbourhoods where people are asked to bring as many donations as they can to Renaissance. Île-Perrot dethroned Dorval who had been the king in that category for the past 10 years,” said Legault.
While the Renaissance outlet in Île-Perrot does not have a job training program currently in place, the organization is striving to have one in the future to join its Montreal, Laval and South Shore network, said Cécile Carrasco, Manager of Marketing and Public Relations.
More information about Renaissance and its job creation program is available at www.renaissancequebec.ca/en.