The Launch Youth Entrepreneurship Program is the sole youth employment program for the Newfound and Pemi-Baker Regions. An innovative, one-of-a kind, positive youth development program, Launch combines workforce development training and substance misuse prevention strategies in a community-based, grassroots format. Established in 2005 in collaboration with key community leaders, Launch provides resiliency-building, positive engagement, and experiential education beyond the classroom. Twenty-five youth participate in this year-round programming to develop concrete skills, explore new environments, learn smart decision-making and goal-setting, and learn and exercise leadership skills. The capstone experience is the opportunity to earn a paycheck from summer employment, through CADY’s collaboration with Alex Ray, proprietor of the Common Man Family of Restaurants, at Frosty Scoops Ice Cream stand. LAUNCH is open to students in both regions at no cost, and is strongly supported by the administration of our region’s high schools. The very nature of LAUNCH helps to close the opportunity gap so prevalent among youth in our region and state.
CADY’s business partner, The Common Man Family of Restaurants, provides the primary location, supplies, and paid employment for the youth-run business Frosty Scoops. Plymouth State University also refers college students to serve as youth mentors. Through this unique collaboration, the LAUNCH has provided paid summer employment to over 275 local youth since 2005 and was recognized by the White House in 2012 as a public/private partnership to emulate across the country.