PORT HAWKESBURY: A local society dedicated to supporting the unique needs of adults with intellectual and physical disabilities in the Strait area is preparing to revamp its facility and business offerings.

The Regional Occupational Centre (ROC) Society will be remodeling and expanding its MacQuarrie Drive Extension facility in Port Hawkesbury to accommodate its growing list of social enterprises. In addition, the newly designed space is expected to create three new jobs for members of the ROC’s Independent Living Support program.

The Government of Canada is investing $500,000 in the ROC Society to assist with upgrades and renovations to the building. These improvements will create much needed office and storefront space, transforming the building into a more attractive and inviting place for locals and visitors to do business, and will enable the ROC to introduce new programs and social enterprises.

In addition to the building’s expansion, ROC’s facility will receive a new roof, wheelchair ramp, flooring throughout the main level, new windows, and upgrades to its kitchen. The enhanced facility will create the required space to properly display the ROC’s products for sale. It will also allow the ROC to branch into new revenue streams, including a quality used clothing store and rental space for local crafters to sell their wares year-round.

Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner made the announcement of government funding for the ROC society’s facility in Port Hawkesbury.

The federal funding was announced yesterday by Rodger Cuzner, Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

This investment is made under ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund, which aims to strengthen community infrastructure in rural areas, and invests in projects that enhance a community’s capacity to build upon its existing strengths, assets and opportunities.

Also at the announcement of government funding for the ROC Society was provincial cabinet minister and Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson.