Build Back Better seeks youth works projects funding applications from community groups

A new B.C. government grant for youth service projects can support activities like trail-building, clean-up efforts or working with charitable organizations. Non-profit community and environmental organizations, employer associations, chambers of commerce and Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply

The Youth Community Partnership program will help communities across B.C. fund community-service projects of their choosing. In turn, communities receiving funds will provide skills and work experience to unemployed youth. Photo: Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

A new $5-million Youth Community Partnership program is looking to engage youth to work on community service projects so they can help their communities “build back better” from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what the provincial government had to say about the new program;

Communities around B.C. can apply to fund a community-service project of their choosing, such as trail building, beach clean-up or invasive species removal, upgrading local parks or working for a local charity. In turn, they provide skills and work experience to young people who are unemployed, between 15-29 years of age, through the project. These young participants will benefit by applying the work-related skills and experience they gain on various projects in further education, employment or future careers.

“We recognize that COVID-19 continues to dramatically impact young people’s prospects for work, which they typically use to leverage future job prospects or to pay for their education or training,” said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.

“These grants will help youth build their skill sets, gain work experience and help rebuild their communities as the province begins economic recovery from COVID-19,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Local governments, non-profit community and environmental organizations, employer associations, chambers of commerce and Indigenous communities are encouraged to apply.

“Our youth are the future of our Nations,” said Robert J. Dennis, Sr., Chief Councillor of Huu-ay-aht First Nations. “Opportunities like this not only give us a chance to rebuild our communities following COVID-19, but allow us to invest and build capacity in the next generation of leaders. “

Applicants can receive grants of up to $10,000 per youth for projects running up to 16 weeks. The youth then receive a training stipend of up to $2,000 per four-week period (to a maximum of $8,000) for work between June and October 31.

Participants can also receive wraparound supports like bus passes, child care, work boots and personal protective equipment for the work, which will incorporate physical distancing and include no more than 10 youth per project.

It is anticipated that up to 500 youth and more than 50 communities in B.C. could benefit from the grant.