LEARNING HUB: Bike service biz offers ‘meaningful’ job opportunities for youth

·2 min read

There’s a new service being rolled out for cyclists in the city, but those running the business say it’s all about offering opportunities to local youth, and not about turning a profit.

In October Macdonald Youth Services (MYS) launched Velotecha, a brand new bike shop that MYS says will be unique, as there will be no storefront and the social enterprise will work to help local youth, and not to create profit.

“The goal of Velotecha is really to create meaningful employment opportunities for MYS youth,” MYS Chief Financial Officer Nicole Barry said in a release. “To give them something they can then put on their resume, and have some skills and experience as they enter the workforce.”

Barry said that Velotecha will offer a bike storage valet service geared towards those looking for somewhere to store their bike during the city’s winter months and will also offer bike tune-up and repair services for clients.

“To launch, we're really targeting folks who are tired of tripping over their bikes during the winter and struggle to find tune-up service during the spring,” Barry said.

“We pick up your bike, store it for the off-season in our secure, secret indoor location, then, depending on the package you choose, service and return it to you ready to ride in spring.”

Velotecha will offer four packages including a full season of storage, as well as services that range from basic safety inspection to a full rebuild.

The venture is a joint initiative between MYS’s social purpose enterprise Mayfair Innovations and The WRENCH, a Winnipeg not-for-profit that works in a number of ways to offer bicycle maintenance services as well as volunteer opportunities in the city, and The WRENCH will offer direction and mentorship for the youth participating in the program.

Anyone interested in learning more about Velotecha can check out their website at velotecha.com or search them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

— Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Dave Baxter, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Winnipeg Sun

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