New Dawn is a community business organization that has been part of the Cape Breton landscape for thirty-three years. It is a private, community based, volunteer driven organization inspired by its vision:
A self reliant people in a vibrant community
The organization is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. The Directors serve for a maximum of two, three-year terms. Directors are asked to serve on the basis of their skills and expertise. As New Dawn Enterprises Ltd. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee, the Directors derive no material benefit through their association with the organization. All Profits generated by the business are reinvested in the mission and objects of the organization.
New Dawn’s relative longevity means that it has weathered its share of challenges and has enjoyed success. The business activities of the organization have grown into three divisions: health care, real estate, and training. Taken together these divisions employ approximately 175 people. Furthermore, each day the health division provides quality services and care to over 200 people; the real estate division operates 210 units of affordable housing; and as of September 2009, 100 students are enrolled in the vocational programs offered by New Dawn College.
New Dawn was established 1976 in response to the difficult economic circumstances confronting what was at that time known as industrial Cape Breton. Much about the community has changed since that beginning. The steel plant and the coal mines, which for so long served as the economic engine of Cape Breton County, have been closed for a decade. The forty years preceding their closure were marked by a regular diet of disappointment, interspersed with moments of false hope. Without fail, every year since that industrial decline began in the mid sixties, the community has contracted. One of the most serious manifestations of that contraction is the out migration of youth. The rate of out migration is the most rapid of any community in the country. A review of the data about the historic trends and probable projections in respect to Cape Breton County leads to a pessimistic conclusion.
New Dawn, however, is blessed. It is engaged by people, both inside and outside the organization, who have a deep affection for this Island, who are passionate, creative and disciplined, and who are part of an unconnected assembly that is constructing a new narrative about the future of this community. These are the people that inspire New Dawn; these are the people that provide the energy that drives New Dawn forward.
Rankin MacSween, President