Teens at BGC Fort Saskatchewan had a lot to celebrate on Friday (Aug. 19) as their time with the Youth Employment Program came to an end.
Over the summer, nine youth aged 14 to 17 were hired by local businesses in collaboration with BGC. They went through two weeks of training at the club before working for the business for seven weeks.
Businesses were required to provide 20 hours of work per week, as well as mentorship and support throughout the month, as part of the program. Teens were given a $250 honorarium instead of a paycheque, which BGC matched.
“It’s been great seeing the kids gain confidence at their workplaces, trying new tasks,” said Liane Cardy, youth program coordinator for BGC Fort Saskatchewan.
“We had one kid at BeHonest Mechanical; his first two weeks were sweeping the floors, but now he’s actually helping take apart cars. It was really awesome to see their growth and their confidence grow throughout the program.”
For Ayden Carrier-Island, working at the Retreat Salon and Spa opened their eyes to the hair and beauty industry and helped narrow down a potential future career path.
“I was walked through everything that happens at the salon; some of the stylists gave me a few tips about what to do and how to get where they are,” Carrier-Island explained.
“I’m definitely going to be taking all the information I learned this summer and using it for the rest of my life, and that’s what I’m really happy about.”
In addition to career training, teens visited the University of Alberta to learn the ins and outs of post-secondary and volunteered at the Rivercrest Care Centre as part of the employment program.
Other involved businesses included strEATS Restaurant, Fort Saskatchewan Public Library, South Fort Chevrolet, COBS Bread, Fort Saskatchewan Golf and Curling Club, No Frills, Home Hardware, Lakeview Inn and Suites, and Building Centre & Furniture Stores.
The end-of-program celebration was attended by parents, members of the local business community, and mayor Gale Katchur.