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PE Learning Centre launches ‘inspire’ training for youth

Inspire students at The Grange with Duarte Da Silva, Executive Director of The Prince Edward County Winegrowers Association. Jonah Schein photo

The Prince Edward Learning Centre is ‘inspiring’ youth to find meaningful work in the County.

‘INSPIRE’ is a youth employment and education program run through the centre over 22 weeks – including two weeks of pre-employment training and ongoing support during a 20-week paid work placement.

The program has assisted students to finish high school credits, get into college, gain workplace certifications such as First Aid and Smart Serve, obtain driver’s licenses and government identification, access government services and connect with mental health services.

“The personal successes we have already seen through our Inspsire participants are indeed inspiring,” said Kathy Kennedy, Prince Edward Learning Centre Executive Director. “We’ve been thrilled to see our students gaining valuable work experience while continuing their educational goals, and also making great connections with County businesses.”

Inspire graduate, Deanna describes said her experience at the The Hub Child and Family Centre was ‘fantastic’.

“I just know it gave me the chance and confidence to achieve my goals. I’m now where I always was meant to be,” she said.

Deanna quickly became a highly valued member of the teaching team at The Hub and is now looking to start college to pursue an Early Childhood Education Diploma.

“Employers in the County have been extraordinarily supportive of our students,” said Kennedy.

As well as The Hub, she notes recent graduates from the program have had positive work experiences with local employers including Highline Mushrooms, Angelo’s, Green Gables Gift Shop, Prince Edward Animal Hospital, Sandbanks Winery, Parsons Brewing Co., and Shantz Towing.

“Not only is the Inspire program a great opportunity for students, it’s also a great program for employers,” she said, explaining the program provides a wage subsidy that pays employers more than $8,000 over the 20-week work placement that helps cover more than 80 per cent of their costs.

Inspire students are looking for new work placements as early as Feb. 19. Interested employers are encouraged to call the Prince Edward Learning Centre to learn more at 613-476-1811 or email kathy@pelc.ca

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