This chapter presents a promising practice case study of an innovative training and employment program from St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Choices for Youth’s Train for Trades program creates employment opportunities within the construction industry for at-risk and homeless youth in and around the area surrounding St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. The underlying goal for all of Choices’ programs is to help young people obtain housing and give them the support and resources they need to exit homelessness permanently. Not merely a youth skills training program, Train for Trades has emerged as a key program within Choices for Youth. They recognize that training alone would not likely work for the clients they serve, who are generally homeless, lack a high school diploma, and may have addictions and/or mental health issues. The needs of these difficult to serve youth are met with a comprehensive, client-centered approach that combines employment training with several other necessary components: housing, education, and intensive personal support. The program has produced genuine improvements in the lives of the young people who participate, with many obtaining their high school diploma, learning a skill or trade, obtaining and maintaining housing, and, in general, moving towards adulthood with confidence and stability.
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