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Province of British Columbia
For Immediate Release
Nov. 12, 2017
Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Work experience participants revitalize the heart of the community

NELSON – Communities need a place where people can come together to connect and celebrate. In Taghum, that’s the Taghum Hall.

Now, thanks to three participants on a work experience project, the hall is better prepared to bring the community together.

The six-month project, which received $47,122 in government funding, has provided training and experience in construction skills, including demolition, concrete, framing, insulation, electrical, painting and roofing.

“Projects like this one contribute to a strong sense of community, while also providing opportunity for skill development and apprenticeship training,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “We’re proud of supporting initiatives like the revitalization of Taghum Hall, where the value for the community and for the workers will last for years to come.”

The hall holds numerous events throughout the year, including concerts, weekly yoga classes and annual festivals. The changes mean that the building is more accessible to community members who use wheelchairs, in addition to making the space more usable due to better storage.

Michelle Mungall, MLA for Nelson-Creston, stressed the importance of the project for the area.

“Three people gained valuable work experiences and skills. Taghum got an accessible community hall with enough storage to meet its needs. This is a win all around and I look forward to future community events in this fantastic space.”

Working under the direction of Robert Slater, a former trades instructor, the participants built a fence to provide privacy for the neighbours, worked on the demolition and reconstruction of a storage area and built an accessibility ramp leading into the hall. Despite the challenging air quality that affected outdoor workers across the province this summer, the project is coming to a successful, on-time finish on Nov. 10.

“This program has provided the participants with the experience of constructing a building from site layout through concrete, framing and finishing with an ongoing focus on safe work practices,” Slater said. “I expect this will improve their chances for success in any future work.” He also noted also how proud the participants are of their accomplishments.

Nick Bozak, one of the participants, has gained full-time employment, and another participant, Dan Charbonneau, has been taken on as an apprentice by the project manager.

“Even if I don't continue with carpentry as my final career, what I have learned working here with Bob can be transferred to other occupations, whatever the next step may be for me,” Charbonneau said.

Heather Haake, chairperson of the Taghum Hall Board, couldn’t be happier with the outcome of the project.

“From the construction of the privacy fence in June, to the pouring of the accessibility ramp, to today's nearly completed new office and storage area, it has been exciting to come down to the hall and see what Bob and the crew have accomplished,” she said. “All of these improvements will make Taghum Hall an even more inviting venue for all the community events that are hosted here. It has also been encouraging to watch the crew members learn and grow under Bob's direction and prepare themselves for the next step.”

The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction provides funding through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program. This program funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.

The Community and Employer Partnerships program provides support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need.

To date, the program has helped almost 1,675 job seekers benefit from work experience and funded close to 300 projects throughout the province.

Photo of two of the participants:

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Learn more about Taghum Hall and view upcoming events:

For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships:

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