The Fort Saskatchewan Boys and Girls Club's Youth Employment Program was an educational success.
The program, which began in early July, seeks to pair youth aged 13-17 with a business that can provide them with work experience.
"Every youth, from the feedback I got from the businesses and from them, really enjoyed their placements," said Nicholas Starko, the Youth Employment Program facilitator. "They worked hard at their businesses and they got a lot out of that."
The four-week program consisted of 20 hours of work each week for a total of 80 hours, followed by Friday meetings to discuss progress and work on general employment skills.
Fridays consisted of field trips to post-secondary institutions, discussion of topics like appropriate work-wear and resume-building, and guest speakers to address such topics as workplace safety and entrepreneurship.
Carter Goruk, an upcoming Grade 12 student at St. Andre Bessette School and a participant in the program, worked at Home Hardware to fill his hours.
"It's something I kind of wanted to do and wanted more skills for," he explained. "I hope I can go back there and get a job there, but another firm like that like Canadian Tire and Home Depot would be good as well."
The young participants were paid a $400 honourarium for their work. Half of the sum was paid by the business and the other half was contributed by the Boys and Girls Club.
"The businesses even said that a lot of them came with the right frame of mind to work, sought out extra tasks, they were quick to deal with something like a spill or something on their own," Starko enthused. "(That initiative) is an important part of working and getting ahead."
The program was funded in part by the generousity of Twice But Nice.
All of the 15 participants graduated from the program.