“The Hard Workers” back in action to serve community

Youth Services Co-op looking for work contracts

coop service jeunesse 2016 lowresABRAM-VILLAGE – July 8, 2016 – Fourteen young workers from the Evangeline and Charlottetown regions have just rebooted “The Hard Workers” Youth Services Co-op for the summer to offer a wide variety of services to the community, to businesses and to individuals.

The bilingual workers, aged 12 to 17 years, are ready to babysit, mow laws, paint, clean, do gardening, do housekeeping or whatever other odd job needs to be done, all at a reasonable rate. A few contacts have already been negotiated; one of them will require the youth to build small picnic tables and raised beds for the “Gardens for the Future” project for the six Francophone early childhood centres of PEI.

The youth services co-op project, organized by RDÉE Prince Edward Island, began with the hiring of two coordinators, Sophie Duguay and Jake Arsenault, through Summer Jobs Canada. Accompanied by RDÉE youth development officer Stéphane Blanchard, the two first went to Shippagan, NB, for a week of training on the establishment and management of youth services co-ops. The training, developed by the umbrella organization La Fabrique entrepreneuriale of Quebec (which oversees a about 150 youth co-ops), was delivered in Atlantic Canada by the Coopérative de développement régional Acadie.

The coordinators returned to PEI to recruit participants. On June 25, they gave a full day of training on the management of boards of directors and co-ops to young workers André Arsenault, Morgan Arsenault, Chad Arsenault, Thomas Arsenault, Maria Arsenault, Bryce Corkum, Brady Corkum, Britney Hoddinott, Courtney Hoddinott, Miguel Arsenault, Nicholas Silliker, Tianna Gallant, Dawson Arsenault and Céline Arsenault.

At their first board meeting July 5, the youth elected an executive committee: president Morgan Arsenault, vice-president André Arsenault, secretary Britney Hoddinott and treasurer Bryce Corkum. They also formed marketing, human resources and finance committees. The board of directors will meet every second week.


Now, the youth are looking for contracts that will allow them to work, gain experience and earn a few dollars of spending money for the summer. They hope that individuals, businesses and organizations will hire them for a few hours or a few days.

When the co-op 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.

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 François-Buote and Evangeline schools for its small construction projects.

Those wishing to get a free estimate or to place a work order in the Evangeline region are asked to send an email to csjo@rdeeipe.org or to call (902) 854-3439, Ext. 228, during office hours (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Monday to Friday. In the Charlottetown region, the email is csje@rdeeipe.org and the phone number is (902) 370-7333, Ext. 402, also accessible during office hours.



CUTLINE: As a first project in the Evangeline region, the members of “The Hard Workers” Youth Services Co-op set up two raised beds for the “Gardens of the Future” project in Abram-Village. Shown preparing the soil for planting are, from left, coordinator Jake Arsenault with member-workers Brady Corkum, Maria Arsenault, Thomas Arsenault and treasurer Bryce Corkum.


For more information:
Stéphane Blanchad
Youth Development Officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
(902) 370-7333, Ext. 402