|CANSA chair Brian Martin talks about a program that will provide employability and life skills training to five young people. The program received just under $81,000 in funding on Wednesday. Looking on is Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong. Darrell Cole - Amherst Daily News|
AMHERST - A locally-designed program that helps at risk youth enter the workplace or go back to work has been given a funding lifeline.
The Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association is receiving just under $81,000 in federal Skills Link funding that will help five young people facing barriers to employment develop life and job skills.
"This program would not take place without this funding because it's such a specialized design to create opportunities for people facing barriers," CANSA's executive director Liz Cooke-Sumbu said on Wednesday. "This program will give participants work experience over 24 weeks and help them build on their learning skills."
Cooke-Sumbu said the CANSA program is different in many other employment programs in that it reaches out to those who may also have barriers from a physical or intellectual challenge.
Skills Link, which is part of the country's economic action plan, focuses on helping youth, ages 15-30, facing barriers to employment, such as single parents, aboriginal youth, young people with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas and youth who have dropped out of high school.
The program will offer a client-focused approached based on assessing specific needs and will support participants in developing basic and advanced employment skills including writing a resume, conducting a job search and participating in a job interview
"We are very honoured to have the opportunity to do a second phase of this program," CANSA's chair Brian Martin said. "It's a great feeling to know that we are able to help persons facing barriers get to the next step in meeting employment goals or enhancing educational skill levels they need to reach their full potential."
Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong applauded the work CANSA has done to give people the tools they need to succeed.
"In today's environment, it is more important that ever that youth develop the skills they need to participate and succeed in the job market," said Armstrong, making the funding announcement for Human Resources and Skills Development Minister Diane Finley. "By supporting this project, we are helping Amherst youth develop the skills, knowledge and work experience they need to reach their full potential."
Cooke-Sumbu said the program also relies on local employers to take participants into their workforce while CANSA works to coach and mentor them. CANSA is still looking for employers willing to provide some assistance. Anyone interested can contact the office at 661-3109.