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Foundry Work and Education

Formerly known as Foundry Works, this is a strengths-based, individualized youth employment program that helps youth (ages 15 – 24 who are not working or attending school full-time) achieve their employment and educational goals while providing wraparound community supports. 

This youth employment program was spawned in 2017 through a unique partnership between NIEFS board and leadership and John Howard Society of the North Island, which runs Foundry Campbell River - an integrated youth ‘hub’ of health and wellness services for youth ages 12 – 24. 

Our work alongside Foundry BC and the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAM-H) enables us to reach out to youth to provide employment, career, education and wraparound community supports and services in an era where connections to the world of work and supports for health and wellness is even more critical than ever before across the North Island.

Foundry Work and Education staff and program graduate who is now a colleague

Dylan's Story

“Before I came to Foundry, I was working full time but not happy with my job and I was thinking about quitting. I was feeling educationally anxious, and not enabled to do what I really wanted to do.

Honestly, I had no idea how to even get started. Being new to Vancouver Island, I didn’t really understand how to apply for school, and anxiety played a huge role in actively keeping me from finding out. I knew I wanted to participate in a program, but also knew that I didn’t want to fail at something I felt passionate about. 

Once I connected with Foundry Work & Education, things started to really move forward. They were able to book appointments and then come to them with me, help me figure out the layouts of certain websites and who to be in contact with to get my courses all set up. Today, I just make my own appointments and go. While engaged in the program I changed employers and continued to work, but I was empowered to pursue other opportunities to shake me out of my compassion burnout from the food service industry.




What I am most proud of is that in just a year since I walked through the foundry doors, I am no longer a client. I am a member of the team at the Foundry as I have been hired on as a peer support worker AND, I start my social services diploma in September 2023!

This complete 180 in such an abbreviated period of time did not happen without: A) Tanya Timbers, my Youth Employment Specialist at Foundry; she provided me with every opportunity to succeed and show the right people what I can do B) My own hard work which is something I am extremely proud of which is a feeling I had long forgotten. It feels good to be doing something I’m proud of. 

What words of encouragement would I share with other young people looking for work? Hit a wall? Take a moment to reflect, and find a new way past it. Take that risk. You have a story waiting to be told and have no idea what you can do.