Man vs. Meat and Fire and Spice 

YES Employment Services recognizes Man vs. Meat as a youth-friendly employer committed to helping young people gain experience and build careers in our community. Owner/Operator, Jasen Dowhaniuk hired Neal, a participant in the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program to work at Man vs. Meat. Neal was motivated and had an interest in cooking and food preparation. He proved to be a valuable member of the Man vs. Meat team and when Jasen expanded his business, he welcomed two additional YJC participants to work at his new location; Fire & Spice on Leland Avenue. 

Ronald and Dakota (pictured above) had no work experience in Thunder Bay. They entered the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program because they had barriers to employment and they needed skills, training and experience to help them build their careers.  The YJC program addresses employment barriers through career counselling, mentorship and comprehensive pre-employment training.  Support continues with job development services that help match participants with an employer in the community offering a job placement and training in their field of interest.  The program provides on-going support for participants and employers throughout the placement.  Support continues as participants pursue their employment and educational goals.   

Jasen sees training and developing young workers as an integral part of building his business.  "When I first entered the workforce," he explained, "I was always looking for opportunities.  I didn't always get them."   Jasen values the potential in every new hire because he remembers how motivated and committed he was when he started in the industry.   "If they have the interest and inclination, there is the potential to really have a passion for the business", Jasen explains.  Jasen is encouraging Ronald and Dakota to be learn different aspects of the business based on their own aptitudes and interests.  We thank Jasen for being open to providing opportunities and a work environment that allows young people to learn and grow.

YJC Training Benefits Busy Local Businesses

Central Car Wash is a busy operation and assistant manager Ryan Almgren needs to maintain a large staff to keep all aspects of the business running.  The car wash line is physically demanding and requires the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.  Connecting with the Youth Job Connection program proved beneficial to both Ryan and the youth who are now working at Central.

Dylan, Jacob, Landon and Andrew finished their YJC placements at Central.  Ryan hired them on and they continue to work with the Central Car Wash team.  Reese and Devin have recently started YJC student placements at Central and are working part-time hours after school and on weekends.  Ryan also took on Kylie as a part-time cashier following her YJC placement. 

Focus on Community

Twice as Nice Thrift Store takes a community development approach to staffing their busy thrift shop.  Manager, Ken Paulusma is always open to taking on youth who want to explore the retail industry.  His training starts with what new workers can comfortably manage.  As their skills develop, Ken assigns tasks that push them outside their comfort zones to build confidence.  Lexi, a YJC placement student, started out sorting and unloading donations in the back.  Ken now has him completing cleaning tasks at the cashier desk which has introduced Lexi to front-line customer service skills.

Young workers also benefit from the experience at Twice as Nice by learning, first-hand, about the need that exists in our community.  Cedar, a Youth Job Connection student placed at Twice as Nice, learned the art of flexible pricing based on the level of customer need, adding compassion and empathy to the list of skills gained during her summer placement.

YES thanks employers like Ryan, Ken and Jasen who see the potential in young workers and offer opportunities to youth in our community.

We can help you Recruit Young Workers

The Youth Job Connection program offers a unique opportunity for businesses and organizations to build community by helping young workers succeed.  If you have an opportunity for a young worker on your team contact:

Ross Raven


This Employment Ontario program is funded by the Government of Ontario.

For information about all the programs delivered by YES,

visit our  Employer Services programs page.

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