ABRAM-VILLAGE – Sept. 14, 2017 – The 10 motivated members of the Hard Workers Youth Services Co-op have just completed “a very good summer” of work and learning that earned them a combined revenue of $3,000, says Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island who supervises the co-op.
“They loved coming to work and sometimes they’d even come in do some overtime without being asked,” notes Blanchard. “They laughed a lot and learned a lot at the same time.”
The youth, all aged 10-15 years, first learned how worker co-ops operate. They then elected a board of directors and divided the various administrative tasks of their social economy business among themselves.
They then rolled up their sleeves and got to work, providing a wide array of odd-job services to their community: mowing lawns, packing firewood, house cleaning, landscaping and building picnic tables.
The youth also did a bit of volunteering for the Evangeline School-Community Centre and Evangeline School, where their workshop was located.
“Our coordinators Jake Arsenault and Shelaine Gallant, who were hired through Canada Summer Jobs grants, formed a perfect duo; they complemented each other very well,” added Blanchard.
To encourage team spirit and sharing among the co-op youth, the supervisors took them out on two social trips, one to the Off The Wallz Indoor Park in Slemon Park and the other to the Splash Park in Summerside. “These activities appeared to help keep up their motivation,” added the supervisor.
Blanchard noted that the Hard Workers Co-op once again used the operational formula proposed by the Coopératives jeunesse de service du Québec and the Coopérative de développement régional – Acadie to establish their Island co-op. “We are very pleased with the positive outcomes that this collaboration has brought us and we certainly hope to continue along these same lines for years to come.”
He notes that the coordinators when to Shippagan, NB, for a week of training on the establishment and management of youth services co-ops in May and for an additional day in July to discuss the closing of these summer businesses. He feels this training has been extremely useful since the attendees have been able to share these newfound concepts with the young members of the co-op.
RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the provincial francophone economic development council, remains the parent organization of the Youth Services Co-op.
CUTLINE: Tyson Short, left, and Brady Corkum, two worker-members of the Good Workers Youth Services Co-op, are seen building a picnic table under the watchful eye of their supervisor Jake Arsenault.
For more information:
Youth Development Officer
RDÉE Prince Edward Island
(902) 370-7333, Ext. 402