male construction worker
female baker
male truck driver
Female Lab worker

October 2022

Savanna pictured at our AGM Celebration of Services with her YES Youth Worker Tom (right) and her Employment Relations Coordinator Tracy

Summer Job Success for Savanna

Finding your first job can be challenging and for many of the students accessing the Youth Job Connection Summer program this summer marked their introduction in to the world of work.  This summer was a little different for our Employer Relations team.  They were finding that labour shortages were opening up new opportunities for students, particularly in the service industry.

Savanna was involved with the Youth Inclusion Program team.  She wanted a summer job so one of the team members recommended the Youth Job Connection Summer program.  She came to YES for an assessment in June.  The program works to address barriers to employment that may be keeping students from successfully finding work.  Savanna did not have a network to connect her with a job.  She described herself as “shy” but really wanted to overcome this.  She wanted to work behind the scenes but was open to working with customers if the right position came along.  She was accepted in to the program and completed 20 hours of paid training during the first week of July to prepare her for her summer job.

When it came time to find a summer placement, Employer Relations Coordinator, Tracy Laffin suggested Montana’s.  Tracy had been working closely with the restaurant, assisting with their staff recruitment.  She described the available “Hostess” position to Savanna.  She would be greeting guests, cleaning tables, setting tables, running food and controlling the waitlist.  Although originally reluctant to work directly with customers, Savanna rose to the challenge and did well on her “meet and greet”.  She was hired on and a training schedule was set. 

The fit seemed ideal when it turned out that the employee who was training Savanna, had completed the Youth Job Connection Summer program in 2021 and he was still with the company.  This put Savanna at ease and boosted her confidence.  She was determined to succeed and was quick to pick up everything she was learning during her initial training.  After a few weeks on the job, she received some excellent feedback from her supervisor, Sylvie Pouliot.  Savanna was complimented for her punctuality, motivation and able to work at the fast pace required for the job.

After her placement ended, Montana’s asked Savanna to stay on.  She accepted, appreciating the opportunity.   Being a hostess with Montana’s has boosted her self-esteem and brought out her outgoing side.  On September 28th, during YES Employment Services’ Celebration of Services, Savanna shared her success story with a room full of guests including YES staff, leadership and board of directors.  It is amazing to see the transition that Savanna has made from first time worker, to confident worker and public speaker.  Congratulations, Savanna, on your continued success.

Congratulations to Brandon Babonang, pictured here with YES Executive Director Lorna Hunda

The YES Memorial Scholarship was created to commemorate and remember staff members and board members who are no longer with us. This $500 award is available annually to clients who have registered with YES in the year of the award, and who are starting a post-secondary degree, diploma or certificate program in September of the current year. This year we were commemorating our long time board member, Archie Colosimo who had been involved with YES for over 40 years. We also commemorated beloved staff member Jodi Wright. Jodi’s family was so touched by the scholarship that they matched the $500, making the award $1000. We were thrilled to award the scholarship to Brandon Babonang. Brandon completed our Youth Job Connection program and started the Forestry Technician program at Confederation College in September. Congratulations Brandon!

YES Annual General Meeting and Celebration of Services

Thanks to Dan Garrity at Instabooth Thunder Bay for adding an element of fun to our AGM. Here are some of the captured photos.

YES Board members get in on the fun!
Kevin and Nigel from Official Parcel Service were awarded our recognition plaque for their ongoing commitment to providing opportunities to our clients.
Our featured Employment Service client Rosa Renzullo (right) posed with Sharon Kovacic, marketing Outreach Coordinator.
Some members of our Career Development Practitioner Team.
Our finance department got in on the fun!
Employer Relations Coordinator Tracy Laffin (left), Executive Director Lorna Hunda (middle) and Sharon Kovacic, Marketing Outreach Coordinator.
The Youth Worker and ERC team members that helped Brandon get started in his Forestry program.

Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate another great year celebration our community!

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