Training to Employment Success
/ Author: CLAC Staff
/ Categories: Guide magazine /
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Training to Employment Success

An update on CLAC Training in Saskatchewan's partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council

CLAC Training in Saskatchewan enjoys a strong partnership with the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Together with CLAC signatory-contractor PCL Builders Inc., they have delivered several Introduction to Carpentry training-to-employment programs for Indigenous students.

The latest program included a presentation by past graduate Laura Brittain, who was featured in the December 2021 Guide. She shared her powerful testimony of living in recovery after years of trauma, physical and sexual abuse, and substance use. Part of her recovery was gaining carpentry training through CLAC Training, and she is now employed full-time by PCL Builders. She has been able to find her own apartment and is reconnecting with her children.

“Everybody has a story,” says Phil Polsom, CLAC Training Saskatchewan director. “Having Laura tell her story shows students that they can do anything they set their mind to. She’s a perfect example of it. The courage and strength it took for her to work through the things that she worked through—and now to come back and be able to stand in front of a classroom of students and share that story—will hopefully inspire others.”

The Introduction to Carpentry program includes classroom training, which covers material from the Level 1 carpentry apprenticeship curriculum. There is also a hands-on component where the students work on projects that will teach them carpentry skills.

“If something is hard or the weather is freezing cold, just keep pushing through it because it’s worth it,” Laura advised the class. “You’ll feel proud of yourself in the end, just like I do. I did this program and I’m still learning at work. And by the time I get good at something, I’m moving on to the next thing. And it’s really good for my self-esteem and my confidence as a worker. Some things that I found were hard are easy to me now. So just keep pushing through it.”

CLAC Training once again partnered with Wanuskewin Heritage Park to build a much-needed change-room building for their sweat lodge. On top of safety training, the program focuses on employability skills, including classes in mental health first aid, financial literacy, communications skills, and job skills.

“Upon successful completion of the program, students are placed with our employer partner, PCL Builders,” says Phil. “We are excited to see this fresh crop of students begin their employment journey, and we look forward to running more training projects this year.”

CLAC Training partners with Indigenous communities throughout Canada. To learn more, click here.

Pictured are Adelle Bear, Tynnella Tootoosis, Cona La Rose, Don McDonald (instructor), Kennedy McKay, Chelsy Ahenekew, Temika Johnston, Dana Nippi, Matthew Mantee, and Alvin Oxebin.

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