SAINT JOHN, N.B. – The provincial government is investing $480,000 to create jobs and training opportunities for up to 12 journeypersons and 24 apprentices while supporting the development of an emergency housing facility for homeless and at-risk youth.
Post-Secondary Education Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr made the announcement today at the Resource Centre for Youth in Saint John.
“This project is a prime example of partners collaborating to address community needs,” said Carr. “We need an emergency housing program for youth. We also need more opportunities for apprentices in New Brunswick to fulfil their required hours. Our government is responding by providing the necessary funding to create jobs and training for journeypersons and apprentices while they construct a much-needed facility for youth. Today's announcement is the epitome of a win-win situation.”
The project will provide apprentices with employment and the opportunity to complete required hours in order to achieve journeyperson certification. John Flood and Sons, a local general contracting company, will oversee the project in partnership with Safe Harbour Transitional Youth Services Inc.’s board of directors. The New Brunswick Building and Construction Trades Council will provide mentorship training to the journeypersons and apprentices employed on the project.
“Our member affiliates are proud to supply the skilled labour at the Safe Harbour project and mentorship opportunities for our apprentices and journeypersons,” said Gary Ritchie, president of the New Brunswick Building and Construction Trades Council. “This project is a true testament to the commitment of many partners coming together to provide housing for homeless youth.”
The proposed 10-bed facility and transitional youth services program, called Safe Harbour, constitutes the missing piece in the ability of stakeholders in southern New Brunswick to respond effectively to youth homelessness. It will fill the gap between life on the streets and being rapidly re-housed.
The Anglican Diocese of Fredericton has donated the land for the facility, which will be built on the site of the former St. James Anglican Church in the south end of Saint John.
"The people of the Diocese of Fredericton are glad to be able to work with our community partners and the various levels of government in the Safe Harbour project,” said Rt. Rev. Claude W. Miller, Diocesan Bishop of Fredericton. “Through it we are able to continue the vision of the former St. James Broad Street congregation of serving people in the South End of Saint John and beyond.”
Demolition of the old church began in December and the construction of the new facility is expected to be completed by the end of June.
The Saint John Construction Association and the Saint John Mechanical Contractors Association each contributed $100,000 to the community project.
The provincial government provided funding for the initiative under the Workforce Expansion and Employment Services programs as part of the Canada-New Brunswick Labour Market Development Agreement.
“Investing in workforce expansion and mentorship training are key pieces of this government's plan to grow New Brunswick's economy and create jobs, as outlined in the Labour Force and Skills Development Strategy,” said Carr. “This project will accelerate economic growth and create jobs while strengthening Saint John's community infrastructure.”
The government also recently added four new apprenticeship incentives that will support both employers and apprentices. They include the Apprenticeship Employer Incentive Grant, Apprenticeship Tuition Rebate, Out-of-province Apprenticeship Strategy and the Provincial Government Hiring Apprenticeship Initiative.