YMCA Youth Employment program alumni, Cleo, gained the confidence and skills needed to pursue rewarding employment. She now works at a local boutique where she is thriving and taking on more responsibilities. - Credit: Contributed

YMCA programs help millenials

Kelowna - The free youth employment programs to eligible individuals under 30

Many millennials feel lost when it comes to career planning and entering the work force, according to the YMCA.

Now, YMCA of Okanagan is investing in millennials by offering free youth employment programs to eligible individuals under 30, granting them a competitive advantage in today’s labor market.

“We believe that building a solid foundation in one’s career is crucial for the success of individuals and of our community,” said youth employment supervisor Jen Pont. “Of our last training group, 11 of 12 students were hired before the program even ended.”

The extensive four and fifteen-week programs support youth with building valuable work skills, determining career goals, gaining certifications, job search skills and more. The youth employment programs are free and pay attendees a training allowance.

“These youth are driven and talented, but often lack the tools and confidence to determine what it is they want and how to go after it,” said Pont. “This is where our employment advisors provide support and empower these bright individuals to take the first step. From there, the sky is the limit.”

One such success story is Cleo, a program alumni who first joined after feeling overwhelmed and discouraged by the thought of finding employment.

“Prior to attending the YMCA Youth Employment program I felt stuck,” Cleo said. “I found the program really helped me gain confidence heading into interviews. It taught me how to speak in stressful situations.”

Cleo is loving and excelling at her job at Rosebuds, a local consignment designer boutique.

“Within a year Cleo has absolutely blossomed,” said her employer Kathy Wiebe. “She can do most everything in the store and has just recently taken over some heavier computer work with great success.”

Programs will be offered in August and September. Early registration is recommended. Short information sessions take place downtown every Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m. at #103-565 Bernard Avenue.

Learn more about YMCA Youth Employment programs through the YMCA website or register by calling 250-861-5627.