Youth Services Co-op looking for work contracts
ABRAM-VILLAGE – July 12, 2017 – Ten young workers from the Evangeline region have just rebooted “The Hard Workers” Youth Services Co-op for the summer of 2017 to offer an odd job service to businesses, organizations and individuals from the local community.
The bilingual workers, aged 12 to 15 years, are ready to babysit, mow laws, wash cars, paint, clean, do gardening, do housekeeping or whatever other odd job needs to be done, all at a reasonable rate.
“They are now looking for contracts that will allow them to work, gain experience and earn a bit of spending money for the summer,” explains Stéphane Blanchard, youth economic development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the organization that oversees the co-op. “The youth are hoping that people from the community will hire one or more of them for a few hours or a few days.”
When the co-op (or YSC) receives a work order, the coordinators estimate the volume of work required and negotiate a price. When the work is completed, they check to make sure the task has been performed well. The co-op retains 10 percent of the income to pay its various operational expenses while the balance is paid in salaries to the young workers.
One important contract has already been negotiated. The PEI French Health Network has just contributed to the RDÉE a $3,000 grant through its Health Promotion Program for the third phase of the “Gardens for the Future” project. The RDÉE will hire youth from the co-op to build six small children’s picnic tables and six adult-sized picnic tables and to deliver them to the six francophone school-community centres of the province. These tables will be placed near the community gardens that have been established at each of the centres. Two raised beds will also be set up at each centre.
This year’s YSC project began with training for its coordinators. During a week-long trip to Shippagan, NB, they learned all about the establishment and management of youth services co-ops. The training, developed by the umbrella organization La Fabrique entrepreneuriale of Quebec (which oversees about 150 youth co-ops), was delivered in Atlantic Canada by the Coopérative de développement régional Acadie.
The coordinators then returned to PEI to recruit participants. In turn, they delivered training on the management of boards of directors and co-ops to the young Island workers.
At their first board meeting, the youth elected an executive committee: president André Arsenault, vice-president Brent Arsenault, secretary Sara Arsenault and treasurer Brady Corkum. These four, along with fellow workers Tianna Gallant, Miguel Arsenault, Jake Gallant, Tyson Short, Madison Simpson and Jaden McInnis, also formed marketing, human resources and finance committees.
At the end of the season, the youth will decide whether to put aside a portion of their profits to ensure a start-up fund for next year and/or pay themselves a rebate, based on the number of hours they put in.
Thanks to an agreement negotiated with the French Language School Board, the co-op has access to the school workshops at Evangeline School for its construction projects.