February 24, 2010
Funds to Aid Local Adult Learning Centre
The federal government announced Tuesday that it will provide $132,739 to the Regina Adult Learning Centre to help young people facing barriers develop life and job skills.
Andrew Scheer, the Conservative MP for Regina Qu’Appelle, made the announcement at RALC’s Winnipeg Street facility, noting the organization’s efforts are important to help young people succeed.
“I think there’s a great return on the investment here,” said Scheer, noting RALC “does a great job.”
Ottawa is providing the money through its Skills Link program to help fund RALC’s Mending the Path and Building Futures Cycle 30 project. RALC also is supported by the province and corporate and individual donations.
Sherian Bui, a current program participant, said her experiences through RALC changed how she thinks.
“To be able to be here, that’s all due to the investors,” she said. “None of us would be here if we didn’t have that money. You learn so much more than academics. It changed my way of thinking. I want to be a hairstylist. I learned how to get there.”
RALC, which was founded in 1990, is a not-for-profit organization that offers participants 32 weeks of job-preparation training at the centre, followed by 11 weeks in a work placement, noted Robert Haynes, RALC president. RALC helps 2.5 cycles of 18-24 participants per year, he added, noting the majority go on to further education or employment. Participants are considered employees of the centre and are paid during their training.
“In many cases these are young people you might say have fallen through the cracks,” Haynes remarked. “All they need is someone to put them back on the right path and give them some direction. It’s just about giving them a leg up.”
The Skills Link program is part of the federal government’s youth employment strategy.
The program focuses on youth between the ages of 15 and 30 facing barriers to employment. The government defines those facing barriers to employment as including single parents, Aboriginal youth, young persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, youth living in rural and remote areas and youth who have dropped out of school.
The Skills Link program is delivered by Service Canada. Scheer made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development.
- Joe Couture, Leader-Post