Train-a-Youth Enterprises has a mission to prepare young people for the labor market by offering 3 different areas where they have the opportunity to be trained. A non-profit social enterprise that is a real training school, unique and innovative. Existing since 1996 and sponsored by the CCEJ, Forma-Jeunes Entreprises re-entering the labor market in young people’s lives.
- Provide personalized training adapted to youth needs and those of the community;
- Create a training school for young people, promoting trade and cooperation between the communities of Hearst, Mattice and Constance Lake;
- Preparing young people for the local labour market realities in order to develop an adequate workforce for the major employers in the region.
History and Development of the 3 services and training sectors
The Youth Employment and Counselling Centre (YECC) created the Bicultural Enterprise to provide employment and practical training for Aboriginal and Francophone youth aged 15 to 24 who were no longer attending school and out of work. The aim is to integrate at risk youth of different cultures into the labour market. The young recruits prepare and deliver firewood, offer blue boxes (recycling) pick up services and offer old furniture finishing services.
A feasibility study is submitted. The study cites 13 recommendations to solidify the structure and operations of the Bicultural Enterprise.
In 1999, several grant applications were also written to help businesses of Train-a-Youth Enterprises (TAYE) in procuring funds required for the restructuring of its operations and for renovations.
In January 2000, The Bicultural Enterprise becomes an independent corporation under the name Train-a-Youth Enterprises (TAYE). This allows them to respond to several legal and financial needs while working in partnership with the YECC.
Following a visit made to the center Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU) in London in January 2008, links and partnerships are created with Train-a-Youth Enterprises. The mandate and criteria of YOU are similar to those of TAYE, that is to say, both offer work experience as well as good work practices to youth in their community. The YOU also ensures the provision of food production services including jellies, products for BBQ and gourmet jams. TAYE launched a similar program in food production in Hearst and started with four products. In addition to creating 3 to 4 new jobs, this initiative promotes the development of the community as it increases the employment opportunities for young people and it helps to improve their knowledge and professional skills.
A rental agreement is made with the Royal Canadian Legion of Hearst for the use of the kitchen to produce gourmet jellies and jams.
An exchange service agreement with the workshop of the pioneers is established. TAYE offers furniture collection service for Workshop North Pioneers (APPN) in exchange for the use of the woodwork room for its smaller projects.
A coordinator was hired for a period of 2 years with the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
A lease agreement is signed with the University of Hearst for the management of the cafeteria. Production of gourmet preserves is now done from this kitchen. This enabled the creation of a new kitchen supervisor position and receives 2-3 new participants each year.
Catering is added to the list of services that are being offered.
An agreement with Mailbox, ModElles Enterprise and Miky’s Smoke House is made. A community catalogue of local products is produced and used for fundraising initiatives in schools. A promotional tour of the region is developed with the partners.
Train-a-Youth Enterprises acquire the commercial building located at 1435 Front Street and move into the new premises.
In June 2011, The Club Action Hearst supports Train-a-Youth Enterprises for the management of the Furniture Depot. This project was developed in the late 1990s had a goal to help the less fortunate in the community. The addition of this new area perfectly links the mandate of TAYE. Participants have the opportunity to touch several sectors, among them; customer service, carpentry, business management, accounting, etc. In October – The City Council accepted the request of TAYE to operate the existing used furniture depot at Louisbourg Centre for a temporary period of three months in order to gain time to acquire government sources of funding and to complete the renovations of its new building. In November – The Ontario Trillium Foundation grant is awarded in the amount of $ 79,000. The grant was used to hire a project coordinator and to renovate the building to be able to create a social enterprise that receives and recycles furniture. In this intergenerational business, seniors serve as mentor to youth in Hearst and the region, thus helping them to gain entrepreneurial experience and employment skills.
In January 2012, the Partnership for Job Creation in Ontario approves a request for funding for the hiring of 5 participants for a period of 24 weeks: a carpenter, a marketing agent, an inventory specialist, an administrative assistant and a researcher. This project helps to develop the Furniture Depot.
In June, the opening of Green Spin Vert (formerly Furniture warehouses) is officially open in its new location at 1435 Front Street. This new sector enables the creation of jobs, including a supervisor and several positions in customer service and receipt of goods. We also welcome volunteers and students.
The used sports equipment section for KidSport Hearst was added through Green Spin Vert.
In May 2012, Train-a-Youth Enterprises announced that they would end the sale and delivery of firewood due to the scarcity of raw materials, the costs for obtaining the materials and fees relating to the maintenance of equipment. These factors ensuring that it was no longer profitable for companies to continue providing this service.
Train-a-Youth Enterprises’ new mentoring program, Boomerang, is established by its partner-organization — the Partners for Employment Centre (CCEJ). This program aims to help young Francophones who are under the age of 40, living in Hearst and surrounding area, who need additional support to develop skills, provide them with employment opportunities and contribute to the development of social enterprises. The 12-week program starts with an exploratory 4-week course (practicum for Train-a-Youth Enterprises Inc., training and evaluations). The program ends with a paid 8-week placement in a social enterprise (Train-a-Youth Enterprises and La Maison Verte), equipped with experienced mentors. The objective of this component is to offer young people a positive learning environment, surrounded by mentors willing to create a positive learning atmosphere conducive to new discoveries.
Train-a-Youth Enterprises currently operates three training areas: a kitchen, a second hand store and a labour service. They conduct financial analysis of these areas with a local initiatives contribution from Nord-Aski.
Intergenerational Culture was launched with a New Horizons grant. The project’s goal is to support the social participation and inclusion of seniors participants in woodworking projects and upgrading of sections of Green Spin Vert. They work with youth participating in Train-a-Youth Enterprises, sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. The grant also enables Train-a-Youth Enterprises to purchase woodworking equipment and a new enclosed trailer.
Profile of TAYE Participants
- Most participants are between 15 to 29 years
- Students or non-students
- Referred by a social program or not
- Minimum work experience
- Without revenue
- Anyone in need of work experience can benefit from these services, regardless of age or status.
Community Partnerships and Referrers
TAYE can serve as a training tool for a variety of customers! All social services have a customer in need of workplace training can refer clients to TAYE.
- Employment Ontario
- Ontario Job
- Secondary Schools (CO-OP internship)
- Community Living
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Probation Services
- Counselling Services
Financing and Challenges
TAYE receive no government subsidy for operations. They offer a social service that is financed by manual labour contracts, sale of used items at the Green Spin Vert and cafeteria service / catering and sale of gourmet jams.
All participants in Train-a-Youth Enterprises Inc. are paid, with the exception of volunteers of Green Spin Vert. Financial support from government programs help to pay part of the wages.
In 2014-2015, 75% of participants had found a job or had to return to their studies after work experience with TAYE.
The income of TAYE (including 3 service sectors; contracts, grants, contributions, food production and other revenues) totalled $ 377,731 for the 2014-2015 year.