Centre de Services à l’emploi Prescott-Russell Employment Services Center (CSEPR) has received a federal contribution of $1,473,186 in support of its ‘Focus on the Future’ project, granted under the Youth Employment and Skills Strategy Program (YESS).

The announcement of the funding was made on October 22 by Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Member of Parliament Francis Drouin.

CSEPR aims to provide 170 work experiences to eligible youth over an 18-month period. The project offers personalized, as well as group support, with the goal that at-risk youth in Prescott-Russell can eventually enter the job market and become financially independent.

The youth will be placed in companies, and matched with leadership mentors, in order to experience paid work placements. They will also receive training in leadership, entrepreneurship, and professional job coaching in the workplace.

Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Francis Drouin.

“It is thanks to organizations such as the CSEPR that our region will prosper, and this will encourage a robust economic recovery.” Drouin said.

The YESS program provides funding to organizations to deliver a range of activities that help youth overcome barriers to employment and develop a broad range of skills and knowledge to participate in the current and future labour market. Support is tailored to the needs of youth that are facing barriers to employment.

The YESS program also encourages collaboration and innovation to increase capacity across the youth-service-provider network (e.g., employers, service delivery organizations and educational institutions) to better support youth, and to help employers hire and retain youth –  particularly those who face barriers.

Through the federal government’s Fall Economic Statement 2020, an additional $575.3 million will be invested in the YESS program over the next two years to provide approximately 45,300 job placements for young people, including those who may face more complex barriers to employment, such as those driven from the labour force due to the pandemic, to help them gain the skills and experience needed to find and keep quality work.

Through this additional funding, an additional 12,000 placements for youth in 2021- 2022 and 2022-2023 will be created.

“This federal government program is especially critical in the current economic climate. It is an initiative that will have a long-term impact on youth by developing their leadership skills,” said CSEPR Chief Executive Officer Caroline Arcand, who acknowledged the support of MP Drouin for the program. “At the same time, it will help address the labour shortage.”