After three weeks in funding limbo Jen Harrison and Randy Waldie will keep the Pathway Project going at least another three years. The long-running Langford program helps youth and young adults find jobs.

Funding renewed for youth employment agency

Better late than never.

Better late than never.

The Pathway Project youth employment agency shut its doors in late July after its federal contract expired, amid fears it was closing for good.

Three nerve-wracking weeks later, the Langford-based program has new money and a three-year contract, allowing the West Shore’s only youth employment service to get back in action.

“All the support from the community, colleagues and partners made it possible to open our doors again,” said Jen Harrison, the Pathway co-ordinator. “We were able to prove there is a need for this place in the community.”

Run through WorkLink for the past 10 years, Pathway helps West Shore teens and young adults sharpen their employment skills through an intensive and free 16-week program. Many of Pathway’s clients struggle with addictions, mental health issues, poverty, and emotional or physical abuse.

Hundreds of graduated clients remain extremely loyal to the program and many helped launch a lobbying effort in July and August. Clients, their parents and people in the community wrote emails and called Service Canada and provincial and federal politicians to highlight what could be lost.

“Youth were a big part, they rallied to keep the doors open,” Harrison said, who runs the program with Randy Waldie. “I can’t imagine the community without this. I don’t know where the youth would go.”

Harrison and Waldie were laid off for three weeks, but Pathways has retained its classroom space at 847 Goldstream Ave., behind the Tim Hortons. They said gap in service meant some youth may have been discouraged from finding help.

“The youth tell each other about this by old fashioned word of mouth,” she said. “But they won’t refer if they can’t rely on us being here.”

WorkLink executive director Jennifer DeLuca said it’s unclear why funding was delayed, but a three year contract from Service Canada is about as good as it gets. In the past Pathway has seen contracts from six months to two years.

“Three years is such a bonus. We are really happy about that,” DeLuca said. “It’s hard to imagine such a great program not being funded again.”

DeLuca said in 20 years working in social services, she’s almost never seen such a long delay between contracts for a long-running agency that demonstrates measurable success.

“They may have looked at our (job skills) program to see if it was worth being funded. Governments do that,” DeLuca said. “I just wish they’d done it before the end of the contract.”

“We had support from past participants, from the community and parents, and support locally from Service Canada,” she added. “They believe in this project, but when you send something to Ottawa, you have to wait.”


Just Posted

Victoria teen killed on field trip near Sooke

Second youth also injured in falling tree incident at Camp Barnard

Langford has ‘no plans’ to make changes to Western Speedway after noise complaints

Flyer passed out to residents voices concerns over racetrack noise

Oak Bay double murder trial: Blood splatter analyst says no shoe prints found in unit

RCMP analyst testifies to smears, fingermarks, ‘swipe and wipe’ patterns around apartment

Scorpion gives birth at Victoria Bug Zoo after hitching ride in woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

UPDATE: Firefighters bring Sooke wildfire under control

Firefighters have a wildfire that burned an area about 100x150 feet at… Continue reading

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

RCMP allows officers to grow beards

Members can now wear beards and goatees, as long as they’re neatly groomed

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at B.C. campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Most Read