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FPAC donates $10K to support Outland Youth Employment Program


October 20, 2021
By FPAC

Earlier today, Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) made a $10,000 commitment to support the Outland Youth Employment Program (OYEP) and its education and training program for Indigenous youth.

OYEP’s new wrap-around program is available across Canada to OYEP participants and graduates year-round, and provides holistic and practical approaches to education, training and work opportunities that support and inspire youth to be the drivers of their personal and professional health and well-being – recognizing this path to socio-economic health is different for everyone

The program builds on OYEP’s current national network of land-based education, which provides work opportunities for high school-aged Indigenous youth. The summer camps provide youth with a summertime work experience providing training and education in a supportive space that replicates various work environments.

“As Canada’s forest sector builds its talent pipeline of the future and its leaders of tomorrow, we see incredible potential in young people from Indigenous communities,” said Derek Nighbor, FPAC’s president and CEO. “We’ve been huge fans of OYEP for some time and the program’s track record speaks for itself. A 2019 study conducted by the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) showed that 92 per cent of OYEP participants went on to complete high school (or equivalency) and 77 per cent of participants are employed. We’re excited about how this program can further move the dial to create new growth, leadership, and job opportunities.”

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“Our new program strives to foster personal resilience and socio-economic health through problem solving, personal accountability, confronting challenges with innovative thinking, strategic planning, and community-based solutions,” noted OYEP’s national manager Mark Kmill. “Using a variety of real-world challenges, youth can practice and strengthen their resiliency muscles with the support and guidance of a national network of trusted and reliable staff, mentors, employers, educators, cultural leaders, and trainers all across Canada. We are honoured to play a role in helping to break down the many barriers preventing Indigenous youth from fully participating in their personal socio-economic health”.