male construction worker
female baker
male truck driver
Female Lab worker

September 2020

Learning New Skills During the Pandemic – YJC Success for Thomas

The Youth Job Connection program is designed to help young people between the ages of 15 and 29 who are facing significant challenges finding or keeping jobs.  Our Youth Workers help young people take important steps in their journey toward long-term employment and meaningful careers.  This success story focuses on Thomas, who has spent the summer on placement with Black Top Seal Coating.  This job has provided Thomas with great experience and a steady pay cheque during the pandemic.  While many people were facing layoffs, Thomas worked on, gaining new skills and a reputation as a hard worker. 

Thomas heard about Youth Job Connection from his cousin who had successfully completed the program.  He called to book an assessment, was accepted in to the program and started pre-employment training in March.   This paid training is an integral part of the program and provides participants with a solid base of skills for success on the job.  “The workshops helped me the most”, Thomas said, stating that he thought the WHMIS and safety training was very useful.

When Covid-19 hit, YES had to find alternative ways of delivering the YJC training.   A minimum of 60 hours of training is required and Thomas was almost at the stage of completion when YES implemented this alternative model of delivery.  Thomas was diligent.  He submitted all his work booklets, homework and online learning and successfully completed the training in May.

Job Developer Ross Raven, spoke to Thomas about where he would be interested in securing a paid placement.  He had some labour experience and enjoyed working outside.  It was a tough time in the job market, but Ross was able to find an employer who was hiring.  Tanner at Black Top Seal Coating was looking forward to a busy summer season and he needed help.  Thomas welcomed the opportunity and started his placement in June. 

It was a hot July, but Thomas showed his diligence, once again, repairing cracks with hot rubber, and working with asphalt for patching and re-sealing.  “You’re outside all day in the beating sun”, Thomas explained, but he was grateful to be busy and learning on the job.

Thomas feels lucky that he got on board with a company doing outdoor work where physical distancing measures are easily followed.  His position, unlike others, was not affected by Covid-19 restrictions and he has been working throughout the pandemic.  We congratulate Thomas on his success and give a big shout out to Tanner Turk at Black Top Seal Coating for providing Thomas with a solid foundation of training and employment. 

September has arrived and this month is usually a pivotal one as people look forward to next steps.  Students look forward to returning to their academic routines.   Workers, who took summer vacations, are returning to the routine of their workdays.  We recognize that this is a different September for many people.  Not everyone is in control of their own employment status.  A lot of people are facing uncertainty and are anxious about their current situations.  We know how difficult this can be to navigate.  YES is working with clients who are just getting their bearings after losing their jobs.  We are also working with clients who are exploring options outside their regular job fields and some who are considering additional education or training.  Our Career Development Practitioners can help you look at your current situation and explore your options. YES wants to make sure that September is a time when you can look forward to your next steps too.  Whether those steps are big or small is up to you.  If you’re ready to get started, just call or visit.

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