Removing employment barriers

Darrell
Darrell Cole
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CANSA gets federal funding to help at-risk youth

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.

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.

dcole@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association, Daily News, Human Resources

Geographic location: AMHERST, Colchester, Musquodoboit Valley

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Recent comments

  • Dee
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Great comments Linda and Jennifer. At the end of the day it is all about attitude and opportunity. I too am somewhat educated and have worked in the area a good part of my life. Amherst is a great community and it is not about colour. It appears there are a number of people of colour taking their rightful places as leaders in the commuity not because of colour but because of their character. They have worked hard, have the qualifications and are serving in their areas of employment well. This is 2010 ... We all have been given 24 hours each day to live and enjoy life. How we decide to use that time is our choice... lets see Amherst stay progressive and a leader in working towards equality.

  • LINDA
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    yes JENNIFER,YOU HAD TO MOVE AWAY TO MAKE A LIFE,BUT BEING IN A SMALL TOWN WHEN ONE DOES A MISTAKE THEY ARE NEVER GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT,THAT IS WHY i AM GRATEFUL TO THE COMPANY THAT HAS MOVED IN OUR COMMUNITY THREE YEARS IN APRIL.IF not for this company I would have to move away from my family.I have nothing to be proud of being from here.I think that this town needs to live in the twenty first century and accept one another as a human being,with no barriers whatsoever,ORGANIZATIONS such as this should get funding to teach diversity and end racism where all minorities are equal and given a chance to work for their family and not have to move so far away.Like I said,I lived here for 45 years and owe no thanks to this town.SORRY,but I was not given the benefit of the doubt,and I will not prove myself to this cummunity,nor ask them for any assistance,my paycheck comes from another Province and that is not fair.SO maybe one day we will all be accepted and allowed to work in the town we grew up in.I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt and forget others past,and I ask of the same,for my family and my grandson.WE are all equal so lets start treating one another as human beings. Thank you.

  • Dee
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    Congrats to Mr. Martin and Ms. Sumbu and all the team at CANSA. Keep up the good work!

  • LINDA
    February 24, 2010 - 23:46

    MR MATIN talks about barriers in AMHERST for our young people.I am sorry to say but no amount of government funding will break down any barriers in this small cummunity.PERSONALLY,I am educated and only employed because the company in which I work for is out of Province,and have strict ethnic codes and diversity.I understand that this program pays half of the salaries and the employer pays the other half?WELL I think that we have to break down barriers in order to get employed in this community.I have lived here for 45 years now and had to go out of my home town to get employed when places like burger joints would not even give me,nor any of my people a job flipping burgers.I am grateful to the the company that I work for and will never apply again in this community.GOOD luck to all who qualify and I do hope that things have changed in this community and work places become ethnic,and one day I will walk through our malls and see a change.

  • Vince
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Great news, however I plead ignorance, what is the Cumberland African Society and how many members does it have. As a retiree, I find Amherst a real nice place to visit, shop and enjoy. I wish all the best to the underpriviledged


    THANK YOU

  • Jennifer
    February 24, 2010 - 23:45

    Unfortunately Linda, we sometimes create those barriers ourselves by acting unruly in our younger years. Not pointing fingers, just saying. Some tend to forget or not realize that. Some don't think our past should matter.
    Sometimes you will meet the right person in your life who will give you a chance and tell you like it is. Then he said don't dissappoint me for this I say thank you Sandy Fairbanks. He gave me a chance and so did his brother Bill. Because of that I had realized than I can do it, and so I did. Even while all the people in the courtroom benches were whispering what's SHE doing up there?
    Some of us have learned from our past transgressions and have moved on, or should I say - moved out - of town and now have a much better life where people don't know them.
    This is an excellent program, but it will only work if the people being helped will accept who they are, and are willing to become something more in line with being a positive, productive member of society - not a burden.
    I also say thanks to Liz and her crew, they as well helped me when I was down, no questions asked. They truly are good people.