An initiative that makes a significant difference in the lives of young people is getting a boost.
The federal government announced $299,000 Thursday for Community Futures North Okanagan’s Employ program.
“This program in every literal term has changed my life,” said participant Symphony Hollett.
“I’m able to help my family. I have the opportunity to be that person who does something other than her (mom) always doing something for me.”
Katelyn Mackenzie is also in the three-week class.
“With no experience, no job. It’s a tough cycle to break,” she said.
However, since signing up for Employ, Mackenzie, like Hollett, has landed a job.
Among her first actions was helping her mom purchase a car.
“So many of my family have had birthdays and I have money now,” said Mackenzie.
Program participants learn or improve job skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. They will also attend certificate courses such as first aid or CPR, and they will gain work experience with local employers.
“We are looking for individuals wanting to pay their own way and to be contributing members of society,” said Angie Fisher, Employ co-ordinator.
“Our job is to fill the tool box of these youth with skills.”
The federal funding will assist 60 youth.
“Investing in human resources is the greatest investment government can make,” said Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP.
“The issue is connecting youth with jobs. Many youth are struggling to get their foot in the door. The funding is focused on helping young people reach their potential in the job market.”