The goal of the Prosper West program is to offer employment-ready training and continued job coaching to clients throughout the Prince County area. As well, the program is a way of supporting employers in the Construction, Agriculture, Tourism, and Fish Processing sectors who are looking for qualified employees.
Prosper West is a group-based employability skills program funded by SkillsPEI and administered by East Prince Youth Development Centre, Summerside.
EPYDC is very pleased with the outcome of Prosper West. This program helps participants living on social assistance to gain the skills needed to find and maintain employment.
Our program staff members Joyce Newcombe and Ken Culleton did an amazing job with our classroom participants. They were always encouraging but still pushing just a little for participants to venture outside their comfort zone.
Although the classroom component is over, Joyce continues to work with 70+ clients! This is more than a 9 to 5 job for Joyce, who now spends much of her time on the road, meeting clients at the fish plant, in the potato field, in restaurant kitchens, and the dairy or hog farms.
Testimonies from some participants:
Darlene spoke at the recent closing ceremony about what this program meant to her. She talked about what it was like being on social assistance, barely scraping by.
She was a very shy person who felt safe in her own home but found it extremely difficult to interact with others.
As time went by, it was getting harder and harder for her to cope. However, when she learned about the Prosper West Program, she decided she had nothing to lose. Each day she came to class she became more and more comfortable.
Darlene learned new ways to find jobs, how to make her resumé more appealing, and job interview skills, but the most important lesson was not settling for less. “Always aim for more,” says Darlene. “I am a worthwhile person who deserves the best. I am very thankful for this program. It has helped me regain my confidence and spirit!”
Lisa, another participant, said this program gave her a better quality of life and helped her regain her confidence.
Tina said she could never visualize herself working.
She was at home on disability and felt that was all she would ever do. Prosper West helped her concentrate on her abilities. She now has a plan to attend Holland College to study Environmental Science and is also working part time.
Prosper West is delivered by EPYDC in partnership with the Construction Association of PEI, Tourism Industry Association of PEI, the PEI Agricultural Sector Council, the PEI Department of Family and Human Services, SkillsPEI, and the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada and is funded under the Canada-PEI labour market agreements.
For more information about Prosper West, contact Barb Broome, Executive Director of East Prince Youth Development Centre, at 902-436-2815.