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BladeRunnersTM is a highly successful provincial program that has received numerous awards and distinctions of recognition since its inception 16 years ago. It is an employment training model for at-risk-youth between 18 and 30 years old who have multiple barriers to employment. Participants receive job readiness skills, on-the-job training which is sometimes subsidized, and unparalleled support from their BladeRunners Coordinator(s) and peers.

BladeRunners Model

The purpose of the BladeRunners model is to maintain overall consistency, continuity, integrity and identity through a provincially standardized service delivery model that reflects the original intent and purpose of the program. However, at the same time, regional flexibility is valued as important and allowed for. In order to maintain the overall consistency, continuity and original intent, all delivery agents also agree to follow and abide by the BladeRunners Guidelines and Framework Agreement 2004, which was developed with the purpose of the model in mind.

A crucial component of the model is the on-going support provided by the BladeRunners Co-ordinators, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The support includes regular on-site monitoring and involvement that helps to create stability and assurance for both participants and employers. In addition, the BladeRunners Co-ordinators provide after-hours support to the participants to help them overcome personal problems and crises so that they do not interfere with the job.

During the training, participants learn life skills and job readiness skills, which helps them to build their self-esteem and confidence. They also get certified health and safety training. Through work-place training and integrations, the participants acquire marketable skills, which enhances their long-term employment prospects. This development of long-term attachment to the work-force, is also a unique component of the BladeRunners model – it is what sets it apart from other short-term programs that are focused on short-term results and not the individuals over a long period of time.

The final key component of the BladeRunners model is the multi-sectoral partnerships that are developed between the youth, community, employers, trades unions, post-secondary institutes, and various levels of government.

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BladeRunners Mandate

To provide unemployed marginalized at-risk-youth with on-going support, job readiness skills, and work-place training so that they can overcome their barriers to employment and achieve long-term attachment to the workforce.

Program Objectives

To identify and recruit candidates aged 18 - 30 who have multiple barriers to employment.
To provide participants with job readiness skills, through a structured standardized training program, which prepares them for job-placement and on-the-job training.
To provide participants with local meaningful work experience, initially through subsidized on-the-job training (some employers choose to waive the subsidy), to enhance their long-term employment prospects.
To create on-going support for participants to ensure long-term attachment to the workforce, where possible laddering individuals into apprenticeship positions in the trades.
To identify, create, maintain and strengthen partnerships with key stakeholders such as: youth, community organizations, employers, trade unions, post-secondary institutions, and various levels of government.

Chilliwack Blade Runners has continued to grow at Sto:lo under the competent hand of BladeRunners Coordinator Suzanne Catto. If you are interested in becoming a BladeRunner or employing a BladeRunner, please contact Suzanne at 604-824-2687.

Surrey Stó:Lō Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training BladeRunners Surrey has moved out of the Kla How Eya Building and is now located at 10757 - 138th Street, Surrey. To find out more information about the next intake as a participant in the BladeRunners program in Surrey call Amanda Dugas, BladeRunners Coordinator at 778-395-0385 (office).

BladeRunners is jointly funded by Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development and Service Canada.

My name is Suzanne Catto and I am the Chilliwack BladeRunners Coordinator. I have over 20 years of experience in Career Development, Employment Counseling, Life Skills and Facilitation. I received my training from a long list of post-secondary training institutes.  As the Chilliwack BladeRunners Coordinator I develop and implement training programs for Aboriginal at-risk-youth between the ages of 19 & 30. I also provide long-term support, 24 hours per day seven days per week, through the necessary steps from unemployment or under-employment to a long-term and continuing attachment to the labour force. - Suzanne Catto - Chilliwack BladeRunners Coordinator

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EAS Counsellors & OTDC Staff

OTDC EAS Counsellors OTDC Staff 2013OTDC EAS Counsellors & OTDC staff with Norm Amundson, Tannis Goddard, Dr Roberta Nault & Riz Ibrahim at the BC Career development Association Mini Forum held in Kelowna in 2013.

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Day of Mourning

otdc day of mourningAcross Canada, April 28 has been designated the Day of Mourning, a time when workers, families, employers, and others come together to remember those who have lost their lives to work-related incidents or occupational diseases.  Every year, WorkSafeBC, the B.C. Federation of Labour, and the Business Council of British Columbia co-host a public ceremony to honour the occasion.

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In honour and memory of Lorraine Denommee

lorraine denommee

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lorraine Dénommée on October 17, 2012. She is survived by her loving husband, Charles Graziadei; her mother, Carmen Lemay; father, Lucien Dénommée (predeceased); 8 brothers and sisters: Suzanne Dénommée, Carole and Colin Chiswell, Johanne and Fernand Cléroux, Marc and Sue Dénommee, Jacques (predeceased) and Marie Dénommée, Pierre and Kimberly Dénommée, Andre and Linda Dénommée, Paul Dénommée and Marie-Andrée Fortin; her daughter Karla and son-in-law Eugene Swaney and grandson Peyton; son and daughter in law, Todd and Tia Grazaidei and their children Sonnet Dawn Carmen and Dante; stepdaughter Sabrina Levinal and sister-in-law Madelaine Quinn Graziadei and children Michael and Marie. Her passion, her great compassion, her humor, her zest for life and her outstanding contributions to her community will be greatly missed by many, many friends, colleagues and lives she has touched. There will be a "Celebration of Life" Memorial Service Sunday, October 21 at the Head of the Lake Hall at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please honor Lorraine with a donation to a scholarship fund for Aboriginal students that has been established in her name. If you wish to contribute to this fund, call 250-558-3345 or click here: The Lorraine Dénommée Memorial Bursary Okanagan College Foundation

The family would especially like to thank the First Nations Friendship Centre and staff for all their support to Lorraine throughout the years and during this difficult time.

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BC Job Search Guide

The BC Job Search Guide offers a day-by-day, step-by-step system of approaching job search in British Columbia. Each day we suggest specific things job seekers should be doing to produce the best employment results.

Each day's section is coupled with worksheets and mini-videos that cover a wide range of topics... 

Click on this link to visit their website:

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Country News

Karen Abramsen - OTDC Manager
Phone: (250) 769-1977 Cell: 250-212-2999
Fax: (250) 769-1866
Suite 339, 101-1865 Dilworth Dr.
Kelowna, BC V1Y 9T1

Debbie Conlin - OTDC Administrator
Phone: (250) 542-0045 Cell: 250-550-6701
Fax: (250) 549-7175
Suite 339, 101-1865 Dilworth Dr.
Kelowna, BC V1Y 9T1