Job creation program teaches handyman skills

An innovative program underway at the former Dutch Lake School helps several local under-employed residents get more marketable skills

(L-r) Instructor Ron Plamondon shows the correct way to operate a saw to Kyla Parsons

(L-r) Instructor Ron Plamondon shows the correct way to operate a saw to Kyla Parsons

An innovative Jobs Creation Partnerships program underway at the former Dutch Lake School should help several local under-employed residents get more marketable skills.

“They all will be good carpenter’s helpers when they finish,” said instructor Ron Plamondon. “Either that, or they could go out and work on their own. There are lots of seniors and others in the community who cannot afford to hire a carpenter but who need a shed built or other handyman-type jobs done.”

The course began Nov. 21 and will continue until March 1.

The primary focus of the course is learning the skills needed to build garden sheds, greenhouses, flowerpots, raised beds and cold frames. Most of the structures will be located in local community gardens after the program finishes. Although the details haven’t been decided yet, possibly the surplus will be sold or auctioned off to support future programs.

The sheds can be disassembled for transport and then reassembled on the site.

Skills learned included structure design, cost estimation, the use of power tools and air tools, and mass production.

Special courses taken included first aid, construction safety, and workplace hazardous materials.

In addition to building the garden structures, the participants also did some renovations at the Community Resource Center. They took out the old carpeting in one room and replaced it with laminate flooring, plus repaired the walls and installed drywall.

Canfor donated a lift of lumber to the program, which helped a great deal, said Plamondon.

All materials were purchased locally, including tools and boots.

 

The federal government is funding the program through B.C.’s Ministry of Social Development. Yellowhead Community Services has the contract and it is being coordinated by the Community Resource Center.