Working or going to school can directly impact one’s health and wellbeing, but many young people face barriers which make it challenging to do these things on their own. At Foundry, we believe meaningful support with work, school and training should be available for all young people who are interested. We are excited to offer a supported work & education program for youth aged 15-24, which utilizes a team approach by coordinating and aligning young people’s health, wellness and education/employment goals. 

Entrance of Phoenix Books, Lonsdale Quay

The Foundry Work & Education Program is available through Foundry’s provincial virtual service and in 12 Foundry centre communities across BC. The program offers employers a unique opportunity to partner with employment specialists to recruit and hire young people for your team while supporting the health and wellness of youth. 

                                             Jared Brown, Co-Owner, Phoenix Books, Gifts & Treasures 

The Phoenix Books and Foundry North Shore partnership is a prime example of how impactful employer partnerships can support the wellbeing of young people.

The original Phoenix Books, Gifts & Treasures store is located in Snug Cove on Bowen Island. Jared and Quinn, the owners for the last 6 years, collaborated with Foundry North Shore to open a sister store in the North Shore. When asked what interested them in the partnership, Jared mentioned that It was an opportunity to do something different and help out in the community”. In May 2022, the store launched on the second floor of the Lonsdale Quay and is primarily staffed by youth supported by the Foundry Work & Employment Program. “They’ve gone above and beyond. We’re not able to be here all the time and we’ve been able to build that trust with the young people to be responsible for the store”. This amazing partnership has led to learnings on both sides: “We’ve learned a lot in terms of how to open a store and how to work with youth which has been a really nice opportunity for us. A youth that initially needed to be supervised is now doing cash outs and working independently. Another young person is now doing our social media; It’s been nice to see the gains the youth have had with us”. 

How might your company benefit from partnering with Foundry Work & Education Program?  

  • We support youth in gaining skills that directly help your business; matching your business needs with relevant training and certifications needed for the job.  
  • We can help find employees that are a good fit for your team while supporting employers to realize the benefits of hiring a diverse and inclusive workforce. 
  • Employers may be able to access funds to offset the cost of employment, training and skill development through a wage subsidy program. 

How is it different from other work & education programs?  

  • In addition to support with education & employment, we provide connections to other Foundry services (peer support, counselling, etc.) to ensure youth feel supported in all areas of life.  
  • We use an individual placement and support model to provide 1:1 support to help youth reach their goals and promote success on the job.  
  • There is no time limit for the program, it can be continued for as long or as little as needed. 

Foundry is built on strong partnerships. We work closely with community organizations, government, health authorities, youth, caregivers, donors, and many others committed to empowering our young people. Together, we will change the way young people access health and social services across British Columbia.

“Everything shifts from what you intend so be open to the avenues where it might take you!”

Learn more about the Foundry Work & Education Program.