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Division gets cash for youth employment

Chinook’s Edge School Division is receiving $542,000 in federal funding over two years to help youth overcome barriers to employment.

The division operates a Skills Link program, which is part of the government’s Youth Employment Strategy.

Chinook’s Edge has been running its Personal Empowerment and Employment Program since 1995.

“We’ve had an 86-per cent success rate. Government expects 70, but we’ve maintained 86 per cent,” said program director Michele Brewster on Thursday.

“It’s been a very, very good fit with the division. It’s been terrific.”

Open to young people age 15 to 30 who are not attending school and are unemployed or underemployed, participants complete 22 weeks of classroom instruction and a 26-week job placement in the energy sector, service or construction industry. Participants are paid minimum wage.

The program is running out of Didsbury this year and Innisfail next year.

The Didsbury program, also available to people in Olds, started Feb. 11, and is full with 17 participants.

The Innisfail program starts in February 2014 and is also open to residents of Penhold, Spruce View, Bowden and Elnora.

 
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