male construction worker
female baker
male truck driver
Female Lab worker

December 2020

In response to the TBDHU region moving to the Orange – Restrict level we will be temporarily closing our Resource Area to the public effective Monday December 7th, 2020. YES continues to deliver all Employment Service programs and services virtually. Visits to YES are by appointment only. For complete information, go to our Covid-19 information page.

Youth Job Connection Success for Taylor at ReStore

Taylor is adventurous and wants to explore and travel.  She says that discovering this about herself was due, in part, to the career exploration she did as part of the Youth Job Connection program at YES Employment Services. 

Youth Job Connection provides youth facing multiple and often complex barriers to employment with paid training, a job placement, support on the job, mentorship, and career support.  Taylor heard about the program from a friend’s counsellor at an organization that works closely with YES.  She was struggling financially and was unable to find a good employment fit.  Originally from Dryden, Taylor had some solid customer service experience.  She worked in food services at several businesses in Thunder Bay, but none of them stuck.  She wanted to focus on something long term and really explore options for her future.

When Taylor came to YES, she loved the variety of topics covered in the paid pre-employment training.  “I liked that I wasn’t restricted to learning just one thing” Taylor explained.  The pre-employment training at YES covers a lot of soft skills that can be transferred from one job to another.  Subjects like communications, teamwork, problem-solving and conflict resolution help participants learn skills that are valued by all employers.  However, it was the career exploration that really allowed Taylor to focus on her future and uncover her love of travelling and exploring the world.

It was no surprise, that when it came to Taylor’s placement, she got excited when Job Developer Ross Raven suggested she work at Thunder Bay’s Habitat Re-store.  Taylor knew that Habitat Re-Stores across Canada support Habitat builds for families requiring decent, safe and affordable housing.  They also support contributions to Habitat’s  Global Village, Habitat Canada’s short-term international volunteer program, which sees thousands of volunteers build with Habitat across Canada and around the world. Taylor’s curiosity was piqued. 

She met with Lana Vukelic, CEO at Habitat Thunder Bay.  Lana was impressed with Taylor’s demonstrated customer service skills and product knowledge. She appreciated the preparation new hires receive when they go through the Youth Job Connection program.  “All the people we’ve had working with us through the YES program have worked out very well,” Lana noted.  Taylor started her placement in early January 2020. 

Once she got to the Re-store, Taylor was even more excited about the opportunity.  “I was fascinated by all the stuff,” Taylor said, “cool antique couches, old tools, old cameras.  Customers would come in and they would be the ones telling me about the history behind all these things.  I developed really good relationships with my customers right away.”  Taylor hand crafted a sign for the hardware section and arranged the tools on a peg board to organize it for customers.  She thrived in her new job.  The COVID-19 pandemic lockdown in late March came at the end of Taylor’s placement.  At the conclusion of the pandemic lockdown, the ReStore was  scheduled to reopen June 1st and Taylor  was recalled and offered a full time position at the ReStore.

Taylor is thankful to Lana for the opportunity and to YES for the preparation and placement provided through Youth Job Connection.  We would like to congratulate Taylor on her success and wish her well in her future adventures.  We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Lana at ReStore for investing in the young people of our community by continuing to offer opportunities with this valuable organization.

The YES team extends a warm welcome to Brad McKay, our new Employment Service Coordinator. He wrote a short bio that he wanted to share with the community:

My name is Brad McKay and I am originally from Bathurst, NB. Most of my family still resides there and I often go back to the east coast to visit. In my younger days I chose to travel across Canada gaining valuable work and life experience living in Halifax, Banff, Calgary, & Ottawa. Finally, I moved to Thunder Bay about 8 years ago and have made it my home alongside my girlfriend Sarah. We recently had a new baby girl join our family and named her Genisee (5 months old). I believe my education, management and work experience will be a great addition to the Yes Employment team. I look forward to joining an already great culture and hope to be here for a long time.

Welcome Brad!

YES staff and leadership team members have been busy shopping for donations of food, gifts, treats and goodies to fill two holiday hampers. We will be holding a draw on December 16th for these items and we want to make sure all our clients can enter. With new protocols in place, visits to YES are by appointment only but you can still enter to win! Just call 807-623-0768 and we will complete a ballot for you. Good luck everyone and happy December!

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