After the federal government waffled over providing cash to Brandon’s Career and Employment Youth Services, the not-for-profit office signed a 15-month agreement just as it was ready to lock the doors.
Last week, the long-running CEYS was unsure if funding from Employment and Social Development Canada was going to come through and its staff was about to face a funding lapse that would have forced the organization to cull services.
But this morning, on the last day before their current funding agreement was set to run out, papers were being signed and CEYS will get approximately $400,000 to continue service until May 2015.
CEYS, which has been open 30 years, has always relied on government grants to operate, most of which were one-year commitments. However, this year was the first year the cash renewal came so close to the wire.
This funding is around double the amount of the last agreement and Shirley Hammond, executive director, said CEYS plans to greatly increase the number of clients it serves.
CEYS began offering paid internships to its clients — which last between eight and 10 weeks — last year after a long hiatus in the service.
Because of a healthy interest in the internship program, Hammond said, the new beefed-up funding will mean more clients can take advantage of the work experience program.
"We found out there was a very good response from both the participants and the employer community," Hammond said. "So, because it went so well, we’ll be able to offer more of those particular programs."
In the last year, 10 clients went through the internship program.
"We’re going to be working with a lot more participants over the course of the next 63 weeks than we have in the past, it’s going to be very intensive," Hammond said. "We’re very excited."
CEYS works with people between the ages of 15 and 30 to help with job searches. A typical program is a three-week pre-employment workshop for clients to hone their skills in writing resumés, cover letters and being interviewed by potential employers — anything the client needs to be successful in the job search and job retention.
Before this development, as the Sun reported last week, Employment and Social Development Canada sent an email to Hammond which originally said mid-March was the earliest CEYS "may" have received funding.
The last-minute funding agreement comes into effect on Monday.