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Sault youth overcomes employment challenges, aided by local program

Daniel’s story can provide hope for those struggling to enter the workforce

In March 2020, Daniel lost his job as a result of Covid-related shutdowns. Luckily he had some money saved to keep him afloat for some time, but as expected, he eventually needed to continue to earn an income. 

What Daniel didn’t expect were the challenges he would face when trying to re-enter the job market. 

“I really didn’t expect how hard getting a job would be during current times,” said Daniel, who also lacked job experience to include on his applications. “After months and months of job searching and nothing to show for it, I admittedly started to lose hope.”

Looking for a solution to his unemployment issue, Daniel consulted his mother who recommended reaching out to Sault College Employment Solutions (Employment Solutions), an agency that provides free job search support and services for both job seekers and employers. 

“I took my mom’s recommendation, and got set up with them [Employment Solutions] in October. And honestly, I'm so glad I did.”

“My first time meeting them, it was a very friendly group of staff who treated me like a person while still keeping things professional. When they gave me a bus pass and copies of my updated resume to help with job searching, it felt incredible. For the first time, I felt supported and heard, and that finding a job was feasible.”

Through Employment Solutions, Daniel was  able to take advantage of Youth Job Connection (YJC), a mentorship program offered in Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River and along the North Shore that mentors youth aged 15 – 29, who are experiencing barriers to employment. 

Daniel and Tracy
Daniel and Employment Solutions Youth Worker, Tracy Dewar.

The YJC program was developed to assist youth to acquire pre-employment training, access to a variety of skill-building certifications, support transitioning into employment and paid work experience with local employers.

“I was set up with YJC after hearing you could get credentials for your resume as well as additional support,” explained Daniel. “I went from having almost no credentials, or just things in general, to having a very strong resume, which will undoubtedly help for such a long time.”

Enrolled in YJC, Daniel was also provided groceries and clothing to aid him while looking for employment.

Working with Employment Solutions and the Youth Job Connection program, Daniel was able to secure three job interviews within one week. It was the most progress he had seen throughout his job search. 

“I would recommend anyone to give YJC or just Employments Solutions in general a shot if you need employment. It makes such a difference, and it's sad that some people may not know that it exists. I want to thank everyone from Employment Solutions from the bottom of my heart.”

For job seekers aged 15-29 who are not working or in school full-time, Sault College Employment Services is currently accepting applications for the next YJC group. This program is limited to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. 

The YJC program is offered monthly and because of Covid-19, is currently being delivered virtually.

YJC participants receive:

  • One-on-one mentorship that customized to each participant based upon their needs
  • Job matching and placement supports 
  • 60 hours of paid training with a local employer, to develop on-the-job work experience
  • FREE certificates based on the participant's needs, such as WHMIS, AODA, Workers Health and Safety, and Smart Serve and Safe Food Handling 

For more information or to register for the program, text "YJC" to 705-541-8489, or email [email protected].

For five decades, Sault College Employment Solutions has provided free employment support for both job seekers and employers in Sault Ste. Marie, Blind River and along the North Shore. You can find out more information about their free services online and by following them on Facebook and Instagram.