Blog Post, CCEDNet, CCEDNet-MB, Member Connection, Member Story

Manitoba Member Connection: Connecting Members to Build Power

June 27, 2024

From a 2023 interview with Sara Atnikov (Director of Communications and Employee Assistance at Purpose Construction)

CCEDNet member Purpose Construction provides skilled trades training and long term jobs to people with barriers to employment. Sara Atnikov, Director of Communications and Employee Assistance at Purpose Construction, is a part of the We Want to Work coalition that CCEDNet Manitoba provides support for. This coalition believes that one of the best ways to achieve positive social, economic, and climate outcomes would be for government to consider community benefits in their purchasing. If even a very small portion of this spending supported community benefits, it would have a huge social, economic, and environmental return on investment.

In a 2023 interview, Sara shared about the importance of working together to achieve collective action

Purpose Construction is part of the We Want to Work coalition, a bunch of social enterprises that had been rallying the city for social procurement for a thousand years… I’m half joking and half serious!

I remember giving a presentation to the City of Winnipeg, organized by CCEDNet, to all of the department heads, talking about ways in which we could get folks who have barriers to employment in on city contracts and city projects. I could tell there was a lot of apprehension. 

That was seven or eight years ago. Then, finally, coming back to City Hall [in 2022], standing in council and having them vote in this social procurement policy. Being there with folks who had been working on it for so long. What an experience!

At this point it’s really a lot of potential. What it could mean for folks from Purpose Construction is the opportunity to work for a market construction company and build their skills into something greater.

We now have folks who are champions of us because they have seen that our work is great. It’s quality. And we also provide the social benefit. That’s what social procurement gives us – that opportunity to prove ourselves!”

CCEDNet Manitoba builds connection and power in community organizations, coalitions, and social enterprises through convening stakeholders and leaders and representing sector interests through government relations, moving towards CCEDNet’s vision of sustainable, equitable, and inclusive communities directing their own futures.

Sara Atnikov, Purpose Construction

“I don’t think that we’re necessarily siloed in a negative way, but I do think that we’re all ‘head down doing our own thing.’ So being able to have those opportunities to come together and to chat with other social enterprises and nonprofits around the table is super helpful. If I can just like show up to something and there’s a bunch of people there that are of like-minded views and relevant connections, that’s great!” – Sara Atnikov, Director of Communications and Employee Assistance at Purpose Construction

Participate in the coalitions that CCEDNet Manitoba supports, and advance our vision and collective voice for change through public policy advocacy and government relations!

Thank you Cate Friesen from The Story Source for interviewing Sara!