Aboriginal employment program working, says Chilliwack MP

Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl spent Tuesday morning chatting with Seabird Island youth participating in the Enhanced Service Delivery program.

A First Nation’s employment program rolled out earlier this year is showing worth by the dividends, says Chilliwack MP Mark Strahl.

In a series of roundtable discussions with youth and facilitators for the Enhanced Service Delivery program, Strahl has seen the positives of the program.

He’s heard from youth who after years of struggle are now excited about employment, who willingly get up in the mornings for work, and are now working toward career goals.

Tuesday morning he spoke with approximately 20 youth at Seabird Island – the largest provider of the program in B.C. with 95 participants.

“It’s inspiring to hear the young people from Seabird talk about how they want to increase their educational opportunities, and how they’re preparing for a job market,” said Strahl. “That they came here to tell me their story on a sunny, summer day, I think that speaks volumes to the importance they put on the program.”

Enhanced Service Delivery, which was designed in part by Seabird Island Centre of Excellence, is two-fold in that it works first to to eliminate the various barriers standing in the way of aboriginal youth in obtaining employment, and then works on training the youth and transitioning them into employment.

The program is funded in partnership by Aboriginal Affairs, and Northern Development Canada and Service Canada.

The goal is to reduce reliance on income assistance by providing youth with access to a more personalized range of training, education and career counseling programs.

Each participant is funded individually to suit their needs. If they require driving lessons, or childcare services, or tools such as a laptop to succeed in training, they’ll be provided those necessary supports, as well as encouragement and advocacy on their behalf.

“It’s about having the advocacy behind them, reducing barriers, and increasing the supports to help them succeed,” said Alexis Grace, employment and social development programs manager at Seabird Island, in an interview with The Progress when the program was first announced.

“The common misconception is that most First Nations don’t want to work, but they do.”

Something Strahl saw first hand at the roundtable.

“It’s inspiring to see what is possible when First Nations work together, not only with the government of Canada, but also with industry and other partners,” Strahl said. “To provide training and skills development that is actually going to make a real difference in these communities, in these kids’ lives – that’s going to have a ripple effect.

“The benefits go out to the entire country, not just the individuals, not just the local communities, but the entire Canadian economy.”

Approximately 4,000 youth between the ages of 18-24 are participating in the program across the country.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Abbotsford council has given permission for Chilliwack to use the JAMES wastewater treatment plant for the disposal of trucked liquid waste until the end of September.
Chilliwack gets exemption to Abbotsford bylaw prohibiting liquid waste from other cities

Process in place until September while new facility under construction in Chilliwack

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

Sarah Sache and her 11-year-old son Winston at their home, West River Farm, in Chilliwack on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Fraser Valley agriculture community offers big support for autism

Chilliwack dairy farmers, the Sache family, sing praises of Steve Saccomano’s charitable work

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack family homeless after fire rips through house on Abbotsford border

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A search is underway for a 75-year-old fisherman who went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search continues for angler missing between Port Angeles and Victoria

Canadian, U.S. Coast Guard searching for 75-year-old man reported missing Thursday evening

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The federal government says it wants to ban most flavoured vaping products in a bid to reduce their appeal to youth. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Craig Mitchelldyer
Health Canada proposes ban on most vaping flavours it says appeal to youth

If implemented, the regulations would restrict all e-cigarette flavours except tobacco, mint and menthol

Seth Rogen’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit and it’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Most Read