BLUE MOUNTAINS, Ont. — Blue Mountain Resort is partnering with the Collingwood Youth Centre and Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach for the Youth Innovation and Work Integration Pilot (YIWIP) program. Elephant Thoughts worked with Blue Mountain to successfully secure a grant through the Ontario government’s Skills Catalyst Fund, which supports initiatives that foster greater collaboration, innovation and inclusion in Ontario’s labour market.
The resort will provide culinary training and certification as part of the YIWIP program — a dynamic, regionally based program designed to expose youth to a variety of skills and job placements.
“Blue Mountain is excited to be part of this important initiative,” says Simon Pickess, director, Food and Beverage at Blue Mountain. “This is a great way for us to connect with youth in the community, while delivering valuable skills and experience for participants as they seek employment and plan out their future education and careers.”
Blue Mountain’s culinary-skills training program began on October 9, when Adam McMaster, Food Safety coordinator from Blue Mountain’s Westin Hotel, taught food handling and knife skills to students at Collingwood Collegiate Institute. Blue Mountain will provide chef coats for each student enrolled in the training program.
Culinary training will continue on October 29 at Blue Mountain Resort and carry on throughout November and December. Participants who successfully complete the training will finish with various certifications, be employment ready and have a direct connection to prospective employers, including Blue Mountain Resort, by January, 2019.
“There are youth in the community not presently working who would greatly benefit from opportunities to build skills and confidence for job fairs and interview processes,” says Abby Stec, director of Business Development, Elephant Thoughts Educational Outreach. “Our program will provide a fun and engaging way for them to gain the skills, certifications and self-esteem to be successful. It will act as a direct link to the employers and excellent job opportunities.”
The Youth Innovation and Work Integration Pilot program also includes carpentry, welding and adventure tourism training. The program will serve 216 youth participants from five communities in Grey and Simcoe counties.