Once Kyle Aslin registered for the College of New Caledonia’s Job Options program, he was all business.
Aslin, a 31-year-old Fort St. James resident and member of the Tl’azt’en Nation, took the 12-week program at his hometown campus and completed it with near-perfect attendance. That portion of the program ended with a two-week practicum and he excelled there, too.
“I was determined to get my upgrading and my skills,” said Aslin, whose band office had informed him about the CNC opportunity.
The CNC Job Options program helps participants develop their employability skills and assists them in securing necessary tickets for specific jobs. Areas of focus include Occupational First Aid Level 1, Building Service Worker, FOODSAFE Level 1, Best Drivers and WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System). People in the program also get the chance to sharpen their reading, writing, math and computer skills.
Aslin found the computer work particularly valuable.
“I’m lacking in that a lot,” he said with a chuckle. “I’m kind of old-school.”
Aslin did his practicum at the Sana’aih Market in Fort St. James. While there, he helped out in the bakery and deli departments.
During his initial 12 weeks in the program, Aslin worked closely with job coach Hannah Phillips. For six months afterward, he had to stay in regular contact with Phillips while looking for employment, volunteering or continuing his education. And he never missed a single appointment.
Phillips has been impressed by Aslin’s level of commitment.
“His dedication is really commendable,” said Phillips, who is also the Community Program Assistant for CNC’s Fort St. James campus. “He has his eyes set on his goals and he achieves them in a timely manner. He’s a good student and a kind student.”
As part of meeting the overall requirements of the Job Options program, Aslin chose to enrol in Academic Upgrading at CNC. Looking down the road, he’s got a few possibilities in mind – he’d like to find a job in a mine or a mill, or possibly work as a health care assistant.
“I used to work for a person with a disability,” he said. “I worked for him for seven years.”
In spending time with Aslin and witnessing his high level of motivation, Phillips sees nothing but opportunity for him.
“He has achieved a connection to CNC that he wouldn’t have had otherwise, and it’s going to open lots of doors for him for the future,” Phillips said.