Fresh talent helps business thrive

Fresh talent helps business thrive

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post | Published: October 13, 2023

Martin Le Lacheur knew exactly what his business needed to reach greater heights: fresh talent with cutting-edge skills and new perspectives. And he was right.

After taking over Cabinetworks in 2021, Martin saw the company’s busiest year in its 40-year history. Martin attributes 2022’s increased sales to their fresh-out-of-school designer, Breasa Gabriel, who he hired in November 2021.

“Breasa not only designs the cabinets, but basically holds the client’s hands from the initial contact until the installation of the final product,” says Martin proudly. “She is a godsend.”

The Graduate to Opportunity (GTO) program made it easier for Martin to hire Breasa. “We were happy that there was a provincial program that could support us in employing somebody straight out of school,” adds Martin. “The financial support through GTO allowed us to offer Breasa a little more salary as well.”

GTO offers a wage subsidy to small businesses, start-ups and non-profits who create permanent full-time jobs for recent grads in Nova Scotia. The subsidy covers 25% of a grad’s first year’s salary – 35% if the grad is diverse – and 12.5% of their second-year’s salary.

As a young African Nova Scotian from Yarmouth, Breasa wasn’t sure what her job prospects would be after completing the Interior Decoration program at the Maritime Business College.

“I tried not to think about being an African Nova Scotian, but I can't say that it didn’t cross my mind,” says Breasa. “But all my anxieties were squashed pretty quickly when I joined Cabinetworks right after graduating.”

The company was just looking for the right person at the right time. “We hired her because we saw the talent, we saw the drive,” says Martin. “We were very lucky that we found her. She is already training our new employees.”

When you love what you do, it reflects in your work.

“This is a career to me; it is something that excites me. It's not just a 9-5 job,” says Breasa. “It is a great compliment when other employers try to poach me.”

Cabinetworks has recently hired a second recent graduate and hopes that other employers are taking advantage of this talent pool and the support available. “Programs like GTO are out there to help, and the forms are easy to fill out,” says Martin. “We have been recommending GTO to other employers.”

Since 2018, more than 1,100 organizations like Cabinetworks have hired more than 2,400 recent graduates across Nova Scotia using GTO funding.

GTO could save you money on the next person you hire. Applying online is simple, and most complete applications are turned around in five business days.

Learn more at

< Back to Articles | Topics: Guest Post

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