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Carpentry program brings youth and job skills together

2011-07-15

Nineteen youths from the Youth in Carpentry program at St. Lawrence College are getting real job training this summer through the Centre for Corporate Learning and Performance Improvement. The students are building an accessible gazebo in Hardy Park to complement the playground already in place, which was funded by the Maycourt Club of Brockville. The group also hopes to build an accessible ramp for the Band Shelter of Hardy Park.

The Youth in Carpentry program is a great opportunity for young people who are not necessarily book learners, according to participant Jordan Davidson. "We are learning things that you don’t learn in a traditional classroom. This program has helped me gain confidence and I really appreciate the chance to update my resume and the prep work for searching for a job."

Rainy days and weddings do not stop this crew. On rain days, the Youth in Carpentry group leave Hardy Park for the shelter of the Gord Watts Municipal Building where they work on building docks for the city owned islands on the St. Lawrence River.

"I’m so thankful for the opportunity to work with professionals," said participant, Ariel May-Holme. "We are becoming a team, building more than just a gazebo."

"Everyone is a winner. Our youth are able to garner important skills to help them move forward, the citizens of Brockville will be able to enjoy the additions to Hardy Park, the City of Brockville is able to save some money and the BMAAC is able to meet their mandates," said Mike Laking, Development Officer St. Lawrence College Centre for Corporate Learning & Performance Improvement.

"The unique nature of this partnership has allowed the vision of the Hardy Park Accessible Play Area to come to fruition," said Ryan Billing of the BMAAC. "The advantages from the partnership far exceed the cost savings within the project and truly exemplify what we as a community can do together to foster growth in our buildings, services, and the people of our city."

The eight week program begins in the classroom where the participants learn employability skills and obtain certification in WHMIS, First Aid/CPR and Fall Arrest. The remaining six weeks are spent working on a community project under the instruction of experienced contractors.

The project is a partnership between St. Lawrence College, the City of Brockville and BMAAC (Brockville Municipal Accessibility Advisory Committee). The Youth in Carpentry program is funded by Service Canada as part of the Individual Skills Enhancement program endorsed by the federal government. These youth are referred to the program by our local employment agencies and are recognized as youth with employment barriers.

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Laura Tulchinsky
St. Lawrence College, Communications
613-544-5400, ext. 1291


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