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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
October 7, 2008

Job Works Youth Builders Program

Mr. Speaker, I'd like to recognize the success of the Job Works Youth Builders program on Ellice Avenue in my constituency of Wolseley. This program, funded by the Department of Education, Citizenship and Youth, brings Aboriginal youth into a comfortable setting and enables them to pursue educational opportunities and trades training.

Youth Builders caters to the unique challenges of Aboriginal youth by placing all 30 students in an environment of community. Every Monday morning the program offers a life skills workshop, which includes a traditional smudge, providing an opportunity for participants to get grounded for the week ahead and also to get to know one another better. Cultural, family and life skill components are clearly an important part of the Youth Builders program and each student is known by name and by their community heritage.

The academic component of the program is based on grade 12 math and English and the completion of high school equivalency, as well as courses in woodworking and work as education. After the completion of the 10-month program, Youth Builders offers graduates the opportunity to participate in their Trades Exploration Program. There are currently seven students in this program who are supported by a journeyman carpenter as they train for a career in the trades.

With an 89 percent employment success rate, I would like to commend the Youth Builders program for the positive influence it has on the lives of Aboriginal youth. I am very pleased that the provincial government is supporting initiatives such as Youth Builders that are actively engaging Aboriginal youth in our economy. Having recently visited the Youth Builders site, I can attest to the determination and focus of staff and students alike to make a better future for themselves, their families and their communities.

I applaud the Youth Builders program for their vision and wish them the very best of luck as they approach their 10th anniversary next year. Special recognition should also go to Mr. Rob Loiselle, who serves as the project co-ordinator for Job Works Youth Builders.

In closing, please allow me to congratulate all students, past and present, and to encourage them to share their experiences with others who are interested in joining such an influential and effective program as Job Works. Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.