Home CommentaryStudent Life YES Montreal’s Holiday Job Tree is here

YES Montreal’s Holiday Job Tree is here

by Archives December 6, 2006

YES Montreal, a Youth Employment Services organization, has been offering “English-Language job search and self-employment services to Quebecers” since 1983. And for this year’s holiday season, they are ready to do it again.

The Youth Employment Services (YES) “is a non-profit community organization that delivers English-language job search and self-assessment services to Quebecers.”

That is not to say that they refuse French-speaking Quebecers if they happen to wander through the YES office, located at 630 Rene Levesque Boulevard, W., however, the YES community seeks to offer a service that only few others organizations have ever offered before.

In 1983, there was no community to help the English youth of Quebec find employment. Iris Unger, the public relation representative of the organization, explained the limitation of the language by stating there are, in fact, quite a few French-speaking organizations to help youngsters deal with employment issues, but not so many in English. So, they created it out of need.

“Not that we do not welcome French-speakers,” she said to further emphasize her point.

Indeed, since 1983 YES has been a flourishing organization, providing students, and young adults with workshops, business coaches and other tools to promote and encourage youth employment.

YES Montreal began in 1983 when a group of volunteers saw Quebec was losing some of its youth population to the Unites States and Europe. The small group of volunteers, which included James Hughes, decided some sort of support system should be established for the English community.

Youth representatives agreed to create the non-profit organization.

Twenty-three years later, the community is still here, hosting regular activities such as workshops, counseling services and much more.

Hughes, in addition to being one of the first volunteers to recognize the problem, also became the first director of the board for YES, as well as the first president.

Harold Simpkins, senior lecturer, marketing academic director and marketing co-op program director, is also a member of the YES community administration.

Unger says that many members of other faculties also took part in the YES community organization. As it was in 1983, today, the need is still there for young people in the world of employment.

Today, however, “more than 500 volunteers and 24 staff members” work together at having a vibrant community, said Unger.

Having said that YES is all about helping the youth community find employment, what is it that they do, exactly?

First, their website details a calendar of events to help new-comers find activities they may be interested in. Unger described a typical weekday.

“Tuesdays and Fridays there are orientation sessions from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This helps the new-comer to self-assess himself, to learn how to network, but really to find out what you want to do. On Wednesdays, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., there are workshops for entrepreneurs.”

Now, for the holiday season-what many students consider the most expensive part of the year-YES decided to help the young, unemployed community by setting up a “Holiday Tree.”

Unger described it as “a holiday tree that has jobs in it.”

A simple affirmation, but true, nonetheless. YES sets up a holiday tree with job listings posted on it for young job-seekers to choose from.

The holiday tree idea is to offer students extra work during the Christmas break.
To find out which stores need employees, students just have drop by the YES office, pick up the numbers of the stores you are interested in and send them a CV.

YES will then send a letter to the store in your favour. YES then acts as the “middle-man,” as Unger put it.

The small staff team goes out to different stores and act as the middle-man, the direct link between 200 students and various stores around the Montreal-area, permitting one to make some money during the Christmas break and the other to find staff effectively and rapidly for a short period of time.

Technically, the services offered by YES are divided in three–one that addresses job seekers up to 35 years of age, one for entrepreneurs of any age and one for artists up to 35 years of age.

Basically, each category has workshops designed specially for it in order to please the greatest number possible.

In order to help job seekers, services such as the “Holiday Tree” are developed as well as some French classes.

For the entrepreneurs, workshops are designed to help them start their own business off on the right foot.

Other interesting activities are held as well, such as the input of business coaches, to assess the entrepreneurs.

The last category is the one related to the arts. YES’s goal is also to help young artists learn about the ways of marketing and business skills.

To do so, YES published a book, Business skills for creative soul, to help artists adjust to integrating their talent into their job.

Furthermore, the issue of funding the organization is very real as this year they are hosting a campaign to raise $25,000.

Next year, they are planning to add an activity to their calendar and they are hoping to raise enough this year to fund it.

Usually, they get by with diversified funding from the government, private donors, or from corporations, Unger said.

However, to achieve the feat of having great activities an extra bump is in order.

YES decided that in January they would host career nights with an amount of personalities in the business area to educate young job-seekers.

In order to do so, a campaign to raise money has been taking place.

YES, with its dozens of different projects, workshops and goals to help the community stay vibrant needs help, too.

Always feel free to drop by the YES office and use their computer for free from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays. YES is also in need of volunteers, so if you can lend a helping hand, why not? You have nothing to lose, YES?


For more information contact: Iris Unger at iu@yesmontreal.ca or visit www.yesmontreal.ca.

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