June Newsletter    

The Youth Job Connection Program

Adam Okeese (left) gains local work experience and builds skills through his placement at Parmalat.  Thanks to Craig Wakefield for providing this Youth Job Connection placement 

Adam Okeese has an infectious grin and Craig Wakefield, Plant Manager at Parmalat sees it often.  “He lights up when he comes to work.  He just loves being here.  I wish I had more people like him”, says Wakefield.   Adam fits right in with his team in the production department.  Adam was well-prepared for placement success after completing a series of skill building pre-employment training workshops.  These workshops, available through YES Employment, lay the foundation for professional relationships and cover topics  like resolving conflict in the workplace, communication, working as part of a team, attitude and work ethic.  When he started his placement, Adam’s skills development along with his easygoing nature made him an instant favourite with his co-workers.  Now he picks up extra shifts and the initiative that he has shown on the job prompted Parmalat to send him to Equipment World to receive forklift training. 

Adam came to YES after a frustrating year of searching for work in Thunder Bay.  He was having trouble connecting with local employers.   He was sending out resumes and not getting call backs.  He was hopeful after a couple of interviews only to hear that the job had gone to someone else.  Adam had some work experience in his home community of Fort Hope.  His lack of local work experience and connections contributed to the difficulty he faced securing a position in Thunder Bay.  When Adam came to YES, he was identified as a potential candidate for the Youth Job Connection program.   After attending some workshops and receiving a formal assessment and orientation, he was accepted in to the program.   

When asked about what he liked best about the pre-employment workshops, Adam was quick to answer.  “I really liked the group assignments and getting to know my peers” he said. The pre-employment skill building training available through YES Employment certainly gives ample opportunity for that!  Individuals participating in these pre-employment workshops are able to explore key subjects that include job searching, resume and cover letter writing and interview skills, as well as more personal skills such as social media use (and misuse!), budgeting and goal setting.

When it came time to secure a placement, Adam’s Employment Counsellor, Leanne Rees, remembered a call she had received from Craig Wakefield at Parmalat.  A production department opening fit Adam’s skill set and matched the type of work he was interested in.  Job Developer, Ross Raven set up the placement. Providing ongoing support to Adam and Craig has been a pleasure for Ross.  “I hear nothing but positive feedback, and best of all he feels recognized by the company for the good job he is doing”, he explains.  Congratulations, Adam and thank you to Parmalat for providing this opportunity.  We wish Adam continued success in this placement and beyond!

Adam’s placement at Parmalat is one of the components of the Youth Job Connection program.  This program provides intensive employment supports for youth aged 15 to 29 who are not in employment, education or training and who experience multiple barriers to employment.  Participants in the program attend at least 60 hours of pre-employment training.  Job matching and paid job placements help participants build skills and gain work experience.  Participants also have access to placement supports, mentorship services and supports for transitioning to education and employment.   

Youth Job Connection - Summer

Starting April 1st, YES also began delivering Youth Job Connection: Summer – which provides summer, part-time and after-school job opportunities to high school students, aged 15 to 18, who are facing challenging life circumstances and may need support transitioning between school and work.  Students wanting to participate can visit the YES Resource Area for an assessment and orientation.    If you have an employment opportunity that would be suitable for a young worker, contact our Job Development team. 

June 8th, 2016 Marked 35 Years of Serving our Community


June 8th, 2016 was our 35th Anniversary!  Here's a little bit of history about how we began:
YES Employment Services is a not profit, community-based organization. In the summer of 1981, a group of citizens and volunteers came together to establish a Centre that would address the employment needs of at-risk job seekers with a focus on youth. That Centre opened in the basement of St. Paul's Church on June 8th, 1981. Over the years, YES continuously increased its capacity to deliver services to a larger and more diverse group of job seekers and employers. Now, 35 years later, YES continues to be embraced by our community and our capacity continues to grow. Join us in reflecting on the changes and growth that have led YES programs and services to remain vital to local job seekers and employers. Watch for upcoming events and historical information about YES through the years. We would like to thank the local community, and the municipal, provincial and federal governments for continuing to support our mission.  Watch our Facebook page for more photos and history as we mark our 35th year.



Community Support:

On May 6th, the YES Clean Up Crew participated in the 20th Annual Spring Up to Clean up filling 10 bags with litter picked up around YES all the way up Memorial Avenue to the tracks.


Thunder Bay Team Unbreakable has put in amazing effort preparing for their 5K race in June.  YES presented information about our programs and services to this dedicated group of young people on April 28th at the Canada Games Complex.


On April 27th and 28th, YES Employment Services delivered Smart Serve training to 20 high school students during Success Certified.  This annual event provides participating students with free certification in First Aid, Service Excellence, Safe Food Handling and more to help build their resumes for employment.  This year saw the highest number of students participating in Success Certified in its eight- year history.  The feedback from the students was exceptionally positive and appreciative.  Thanks to the school boards for inviting YES to provide training to students again this year. 




Visit Us In

Walk-ins Welcome