The mandate of the Employment and Training Department is twofold:
- To advocate Squamish Nation’s interests in employment and training on a National and Provincial level
- Through the Eslha7an Learning Centre and Employment Services and the Trades Centre, provide development and delivery of community programs, education, training and employment services to members who can benefit from these services, to assist them in being more successful in mainstream education, employment and training.
The Employment and Training Department is comprised of three main divisions
Our team works with First Nation clients to assist them in seeking employment and training that suits their needs. We have partnerships with the First Nations Employment Society (FNES), Industry Training Authority, Kwantlen College, Capilano University, as well as the North and West Vancouver School Districts to maximize funding for clients. Our goal is to help clients get on the path to education or training that will lead to meaningful employment. Following the guidelines of our funding agencies we strive to assist clients with tuition, books, travel and living allowances in some circumstances.
We offer a safe and holistic environment where our First Nations clients can take their first steps towards education, training and employment while maintaining their traditional values.
To evaluate the needs of membership on an ongoing basis and to continually develop the implementation of workshops, training and education that meet the diverse needs of our clients.
We were very pleased to welcome the Income Assistance group to our Employment and Training Team. In August, the team moved from their facility with Ayas Men Men to the Eslha7an Facility.
Our team is responsible for the efficient administration of the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) Income assistance program. We provide financial support to eligible adults and their dependants who are unable to meet their basic needs. The team assists persons living on reserve to maintain a basic standard of living; to prevent dependency by developing individual and family strengths; and to assist recipients to access services that will enhance their ability to assume primary responsibility for their own affairs.
Our employment and training services have always been funded from Service Canada through the First Nations Employment Society. Two years ago this service was centralized through FNES and all payments come directly from FNES, not the Squamish Nation. Unfortunately, this has caused financial stress on our team and ultimately affected how much we can support clients in training. Our staff has been reduced to two staff members, Frances Stegner and Eric Baker, due to this situation. An important note for all clients is there are no funds available from FNES for training, tuition, living allowance or books until next fiscal year (April 1, 2013). Currently we are only able to offer support to our Squamish Nation membership through our Occupational Skills Training funds which is limited to $1,200.00 per member per fiscal year. If you are interested in taking training in 2013 please come in and apply early so we can reserve funds for you. The Department Head (Faye Halls) and Council Representative (Chris Lewis) will continue to advocate for Squamish Nation at both the Provincial and National level to increase funding and support for client training requests.
Our staff is always here to assist you with job search, resumes, and will be offering the following workshops for clients:
- Computer Training
- First Host Workshops
- First Aid
- Essential Skills
Eslha7an Learning Centre
Adult Program – We are excited this year to announce that we are now offering the Adult Dogwood Diploma in our Adult Program. GED is no longer available and the Adult Dogwood will prove more beneficial to our students. Language/Culture/Art is now credited courses towards your Diploma. We are happy to announce that our registration is full again this year. Will Bedard is the teacher for this program with the assistance of Lorraine Louis.
Youth Program (16–19 years) – Our youth program offering the Dogwood Diploma is running full days on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. Students who are short a course or two from completing their Dogwood Diploma (High School) are welcome to attend this program to complete the requirements. Laurie Lauwe is the teacher again this year with the support of Margie Spooner. Lacey Baker provides administration support to both the youth and adult programs.
Arrow Might Literacy Program – We are pleased to offer this literacy program to those students who need assistance in upgrading their reading comprehension skills. The curriculum in this program is First Nations-based and is designed to bring a non-reader to a full reader in six months. The full time students also participate in Life Skills and Language/Culture training. Currently there are over 50 participants in the program, with17 attending on a full time basis. Candice Halls-Howcroft is the Instructor for this program with the assistance of Lorraine Louis.
**Please note: Due to the high number of students and the change to more structured programming, the Eslha7an Facility will be using the Activity Room on a full time basis. It will therefore not be available for community or other departmental use. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Squamish Nation Trades Centre/Building Your Future
The Squamish Nation Trades Centre is in the midst of an internal review to ensure we are meeting the needs of our Squamish Nation Membership and labour market demand. We are continually working with the Industry Training Authority and Kwantlen Polytechnic University to build partnerships that will support funding to deliver further programs at our Centre.
In the 2011/2012 fiscal year the Trades Centre offered three Carpentry Foundations Programs; one Carpentry Level 2 Program; one Youth in Trades Summer Program; two Safety Certification Programs; and one CSO & OFA 3 Program. 2011/2012 was a very productive and successful year.
In the summer of 2012 we offered a Youth in Trades Summer Program, for the third year in a row, which introduced youth to many different trades and educated them about where they can obtain the training to choose a trade as a career. We hope to offer another Carpentry Foundations Program this winter, however we cannot accept registrations until we receive confirmation of funding. We are working with Capilano University to negotiate other training opportunities for clients. Crystal Quocksister is the Coordinator for the Trades Centre.
Eric Baker is working out of the Squamish Valley Office two days a week (Mondays and Wednesdays) assisting our clients and continuing to build relationships with various companies and organizations in and around the Squamish Valley Community. Current partnerships include: the Skookum Run of the River Power Project; Coast Valley Traffic Control; Coastal Mountain Excavations; Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre (SLCC) to continue future Youth Ambassador Programs; and the local employment office, Training Innovations (Whistler and Squamish locations). We are now getting more involved with youth in the high schools to introduce them to employment and training options for post-secondary.
We are working with Squamish Valley administration to create a space to offer the Arrow Might Literacy Program for clients. Please watch for more information on this program.