While the pandemic may have changed the face of work, for now, the Obair Economic Society, and its Youth Employment Skills Strategy (YESS) program are holding fast and continuing to help students and young adults acquire crucial job skills.

“We do a lot of soft skills, resumes, cover letters, interview skills, WHMIS, WCB safety. So there’s six weeks of those classes, some people don’t have the environment to work in, so we provide that here, otherwise, it’s all online,” says program manager Taryn Garbitt.

Anyone from ages 15 to 30, from Fort Nelson to McLeod Lake, and Hudson’s Hope to the Alberta border, can apply for the program, and take part in six weeks of skills training, followed by twelve weeks of job placements.

“Most of the time, it’s people who don’t really have the interview skills and don’t have a resume, they’re done high-school and they don’t have a lot of people skills, communication skills,” she said, noting the YESS program launched in May 2019.

The society moved into their new downtown location at the old Alaska Highway House this past June, which has been a great space to carry out all their programs, says Garbitt.

“With the age range, there’s people coming to us who’ve been out of work for some time, or a lot of people wanted to get into a field, but they were too afraid to. With us being able to call the employers and show them what they’ve been through, we can really be their first reference.”

She added many younger clients are itching to go to post-secondary, but the goal is to give them solid experience they can add to their resumes.