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Province Supports Program Preparing At-risk Youth in Northern Manitoba for Employment

Press Release

November 14, 2017

The Manitoba government is investing nearly $200,000 in a program to help at-risk youth in Thompson earn high school credits, and gain employability and life skills, Education and Training Minister Ian Wishart announced today.

“Youth are the fastest-growing demographic and the future of our province,” said Wishart.  “The Look North Report and Action Plan talks about the need to focus on youth to get them engaged in learning, engaged in the community, engaged in enterprise and the local economy.”

The Youth Build program, run by the Boys and Girls Club of Thompson, provides at-risk youth aged 18 to 29 with training in carpentry and construction.  The minister noted participants also have the opportunity to participate in positive, community-based construction projects to develop entry-level employability skills and appropriate work habits.

“Our government is committed to improving the lives of young people in northern Manitoba,” said Kelly Bindle, MLA for Thompson and legislative assistant to the minister of growth, enterprise and trade, who attended the announcement in Thompson on behalf of Wishart.  “Youth Build supports this goal by offering the academic upgrading, employment training and work experience young people need to reach their potential.”

The program includes a four-week orientation followed by 22 weeks of classroom-based learning.  Participants then receive 11 weeks of carpentry instruction followed by a 13-week paid work placement with a local employer in the building, trades or manufacturing sector.

“I’m very pleased that our partnership with the government of Manitoba continues to be strong in the Youth Build project,” said Regina DaSilva-Gibbons, executive director, Boys and Girls Club of Thompson.  “Their recognition of the importance of the program and the benefits it provides to youth at risk in the north is paramount, and it will aid in the elevation to new possibilities for their futures.”

Participants also benefit from safety training (WHMIS, CPR), life skills and pre-employment activities related to budgeting, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, resume writing, interview preparation and related employability skills.  Counselling and personal supports are also available.

“We welcome this investment by the Province of Manitoba to continue to assist at-risk youth in our community with the Youth Build program,” said Janet Brady, vice-chair, board of trustees, School District of Mystery Lake.  “As a former board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Thompson for many years, I know the Youth Build program has helped many youth over the years gain the necessary life skills, literacy and work habits that they will need to succeed in our ever-changing economy in northern Manitoba.  The School District of Mystery Lake looks forward to working with Manitoba Education and Training to continue to provide our northern students with the programs and services that will assist them to achieve success in their lives.”

Since 2002, the Thompson Youth Build project has provided 363 at-risk youth in the region with academic upgrading, high school credits, employability training, paid work placements with community employers, and skilled trades instruction in carpentry and construction.

The Boys and Girls Club of Thompson provides a safe and supportive environment where youth can experience new opportunities, overcome barriers, build positive relationships, and develop confidence and skills necessary for successful labour market participation and personal health.

“The Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg recognizes the support the Government of Manitoba is providing to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Thompson and the Youth Build project,” said Ron Brown, president and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.   “This funding will serve to expand the career possibilities for youth in the north and will help to ensure a positive future for Youth Build participants and for Manitoba.”

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