Kootenay youth learn about employment theory and practice through partnership – Castlegar News

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A group of West Kootenay young adults have some extra job skills in their pockets thanks to a successful collaboration between the Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS) and Wildsight. Fresh out of this successful venture, the two organizations are teaming up again this year to help young adults find jobs and training in climate change.

The two organizations have collaborated to form a team of young adults through the 2021 West Kootenay Youth Climate Corps (YCC) program. Through KCDS’ Fast Forward (FF) program, the Wildsight-hosted team was able to receive job skills training and support, as well as industry-specific training and a subsidy to purchase clothing suitable for the job.

Wildsight’s Youth Climate Corps empowers young people to inspire and implement solutions to the climate crisis through employment, training and leadership development. Crew members, ages 17 to 30, earn salaries, gain work experience, network, and grow personally and professionally. During this time, they carry out projects that both benefit their own communities and support global efforts to act on the climate crisis.

The partnership between KCDS’ Fast Forward program and Wildsight’s YCC was a great match for both organizations.

“KCDS provides strong and comprehensive support to our program participants, which involves working with other organizations and community service providers. It was a great opportunity to partner with Wildsight and support young adults in career exploration, experiential learning and skill development,” said Barbara Kelly, Young Adult Program Manager at KCDS.

Isy Castillor, program facilitator, adds, “This group was so community-driven, and everyone valued nature and connecting to nature. Sheryl Whitesun and I do a lot of teaching, but also a lot of YCC learning.

YCC crew members participated in a condensed three-week version of the Fast Forward program. This program includes strengths and values ​​assessments, goal setting, career exploration, cultural awareness training, workshop and tips on resume writing, job search skills , cover letter workshops, financial knowledge, communication skills and more.

For YCC team member Kate Watt, Fast Forward has given her the tools to expand her career options and helped her find post-YCC season employment where her skills and learning fit well .

“When I needed to turn my CV into something professional, Isy was there to help me. Not only did she help me write my CV and gave me advice on questions to ask my potential future employer, but it also helped me see myself in a new light,” says Kate. “Overall, going through the Fast Forward program made me realize that I have a lot to offer the world and those around me. I am incredibly grateful to the Fast Forward program and its staff because I feel so much more capable and confident while pursuing the path I want.

This partnership has been such a success that Wildsight and KCDS are joining forces again to help the next Youth Climate Corps team, which will take place this spring in the West Kootenay. Anyone interested in learning more is invited to attend a virtual open house on Tuesday, February 22: wildsight.ca/events/west-kootenay-youth-climate-corps-open-house/

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