02/11/2013 02:23 EST | Updated 04/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Some facts about Youth Opportunities Unlimited

The "enterprise services" program of Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), an independent social service agency in London, Ont., consists of several businesses — a cafe, recycling depot, woodworking shop, jewelry making, meal preparation for Meals on Wheels and a preserve-making and retail operation.

These businesses serve the public but also serve as a training ground where at-risk youth are given employability training, both in terms of specific skills and reliability, in real-life settings.

The organization is funded by all levels of government, private firms and foundations.

All the money earned through its social enterprise firms is used to support the organization's operation.

More than 80 per cent of the trainees ultimately get jobs in the private sector, many in the areas in which they have trained with YOU. Some others return to school or pursue careers in other areas.

Source: Lois Holden, manager of enterprise services for YOU.