The bilingual workers, aged 12 to 15, offer to babysit, mow laws, wash cars, paint, clean, do gardening, do housekeeping or whatever other odd job needs to be done, all at a reasonable rate.
“They are now looking for contracts that will allow them to work, gain experience and earn a bit of spending money for the summer,” said Stéphane Blanchard, youth economic development officer with RDÉE Prince Edward Island, the organization that oversees the co-op.
“The youth are hoping that people from the community will hire one or more of them for a few hours or a few days.”
When the co-op (or YSC) receives a work order, the coordinators estimate the volume of work required and negotiate a price. When the work is completed, they check to make sure the task has been performed well. The co-op retains 10 percent of the income to pay its various operational expenses while the balance is paid in salaries to the young workers.
One important contract has already been negotiated. The PEI French Health Network has just contributed to the RDÉE a $3,000 grant through its Health Promotion Program for the third phase of the “Gardens for the Future” project. The RDÉE will hire youth from the co-op to build six small children’s picnic tables and six adult-sized picnic tables and to deliver them to the six francophone school-community centres of the province. These tables will be placed near the community gardens that have been established at each of the centres. Two raised beds will also be set up at each centre.
Anyone wishing to get a free estimate or to place a work order is asked to contact Shelaine Gallant at email@example.com or 902-315-2880 anytime between Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.