Building on the success of our Employment Program for adults funded by Community Living British Columbia, we launched a youth employment program in 2016. We named the program Rise Up which is often a moniker for advocacy and empowerment. Thanks to a number of key community grants, initially from the Victoria Foundation and Telus Community Investment and more recently, from the United Way and Coast Capital Savings, we have been able to keep the program going and growing. We have doubled our capacity recently and are hopeful that we can put at least 30 youth into jobs by March of next year.
Thanks to a well oiled pre-employment assessment and discovery process, excellent, skilled staff with a passion for community-based employment and a well developed network of supportive employers, we have everything we need to provide youth with a roadmap to employment success. More specifically, Rise Up provides 1:1 support to youth that is specific to the needs of each person and includes skills assessment, pre-employment readiness, job development and job placement.
The program is designed to support youth who have barriers to employment such as mental health issues, personal and family trauma, criminal record, poor physical and emotional health and social isolation including minimal connection to school and/or community.
We also know that a job is not just a job. It is a way to improve self-esteem, a way to develop skills and learn new information, a way to improve social connectedness and ultimately to establish an anchor that you can rely on to keep you steady in times of need throughout your life.
Referrals to Rise Up are accepted on a continual basis from youth, families and youth-serving community partners. To make a referral, please call our employment hotline at 250-370-2797.