../Morning Post
Posted October 5 , 2010
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Work Training

Local Teen Graduates from Employment Training Program Ready to Work

KITCHENER— Before entering Ray of Hope’s Employment Training Program, eighteen-year-old Sabrina Howie liked to party and wasn’t very motivated to get a job. The only job she had held was delivering newspapers during the night—but working nights was hard on her.

Sabrina will graduate from the six-month training program this week. After that, she plans to get a job and take correspondence courses to complete the remaining credits for her high school diploma while she works.

Sabrina is leaving Ray of Hope’s program well-equipped to meet her goals. In addition to receiving help with her résumé, Sabrina has certificates in First Aid, Smart Serve, Food Safety, WHIMIS (safe handling of hazardous materials), and a new attitude. Sabrina said about the program, “It has got me a lot further. It has made me grow up a lot and made me more responsible. Now I want to work all the time and make money.”

On Thursday, September 30th, Ray of Hope staff, funders, friends of the organization, and dignitaries celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Employment Training Program at the Morning Glory Café & Bakery in downtown Kitchener. The downtown café, which is one of two locations for the training program, was recently renovated in part by a group of volunteers with a $10,063 grant from the Kitchener-Waterloo Community Foundation.

More than 190 people have graduated from the program over the past ten years. Graduates have gone on to employment or further education. Most of the graduates were youth between 15 and 30 years old and all had significant barriers to employment.

At the anniversary celebration, MPP representative for John Milloy brought greetings as did Kitchener Mayor Carl Zehr. In his impromptu remarks, Mayor Zehr congratulated Ray of Hope on the success of the program geared towards helping youth overcome barriers that had previously interfered with successfully finishing school or finding employment. In a statement from MP Stephen Woodworth, he “commends Ray of Hope; for more than 40 years you’ve been helping people help themselves. And for 10 years, your innovation Youth Employment Skills at Morning Glory Cafés program has taught practical skills and positive work habits to those who’ve experienced difficulty in getting and keeping a job.”

For more information, to arrange an interview, or to request photos of the anniversary celebration contact Harry Whyte, CEO Ray of Hope, at (519)578-8018 X215 or 226-220-8018 or hwhyte@rayofhope.net.

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The Ray of Hope Employment Training Program was launched in June 2000 to teach practical skills and positive work habits to youth between 15 and 30 years of age who have struggled to maintain employment.

Participants receive training in a café setting either at the Morning Glory Café & Bakery in downtown Kitchener or the Morning Glory Café at Heffner’s, which is located at Heffner Lexus-Toyota beside the service centre.

Each person who graduates overcomes many obstacles. Learning to work in a café is relatively easy. Improving low self-esteem, getting in the habit of being on time, as well as learning conflict resolution techniques and other “soft skills” are more challenging.

The kind of intensive training and holistic guidance that participants need is difficult to provide in a regular work environment. For this reason, the Morning Glory Cafés require more managerial staff than regular businesses. Long-time partnerships with Service Canada and Heffner Lexus-Toyota, as well as donations from foundations and private donors have helped to fund the program in addition to sales generated by the cafés.






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