JOPI Inspire Experiences for Youth's Clear Purpose
Story shared by Alison Chuck, Job Opportunity & Placement Initiative (JOPI) Coordinator
I sat happily at work on my laptop on a Saturday. Why? I’m feeling inspired!
A few weeks ago, I attended the youth group meeting of a church in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood. I went to share with the young people about the lucrative and rewarding careers possible in the field of construction. I invited a friend, an experienced skilled trades worker, to share first-hand insight about the industry. I also invited a representative from the YWCA to share about her program which helps women and those who are gender diverse enter the skilled trades.
Four months earlier, when I met with this same youth group for the first time, I invited them to a Day of Discovery - a fabulous half-day introduction into trades sponsored by Tridel. But no one had signed up. This time, the same youth group was excited to hear these first-hand accounts, and afterwards, six of them including four women were glad to sign up! Encouragingly, some who were too young to apply at the time also expressed an interest.
'Inspire experiences' is one of the three pillars that the JOPI program offers - a chance to learn about, and to be exposed to, different avenues of work. Many youth, especially those experiencing barriers to employment, don’t have natural access to the world of work and how vast and rewarding it can be.
I had hoped that last night’s presentation would inspire the youth. It did, and I left just as inspired as them!