• Skills Max for Youth - Career Zone

Skills Max for Youth: Cody's Story


Cody’s schedule is packed. On one day you’ll find him working an event at the Vancouver Aquarium, on the next he might be at the River Rock Casino and Resort, or at the Vancouver Marriott Hotel. “There’s so much happening all the time,” he says.

In November, Cody, 28, was unemployed. He’d been working as a security guard, but thought to himself, “You’re walking down a path and you’re not happy with it. Why stick with it?”

He quit his job and had to decide what to do next. In his job search, he discovered he didn’t meet the criteria for certain positions, and that some employers could be nitpicky at times. Eventually, he connected with an employment services case manager, who helped him explore new industries and lines of work. She also suggested YWCA Skills Max for Youth.

The program caught his attention. Cody was part of the first cycle of the 6-week training program for youth 15-29 years old. Skills Max trains participants for jobs in the hospitality and warehousing sectors and supports them to find work in the local industries.

New skills, new perspective

Naturally social, Cody was drawn to serving customers and possibly working in hotels, restaurants and cruise ships. He chose the hospitality stream, and over the next six weeks, he attended employability workshops and got hands-on training as a banquet server, working with DMH Services, a local company recognized in the hospitality industry.

“There were things I never knew,” Cody says about banquet serving. And the skills he learned in Skills Max are “what I do at the jobs I do now.” He also gained job search skills, like how to improve his resume and the value of handing in a cover letter with his applications.

The Skills Max facilitators also helped Cody with establishing a structure to his daily schedule. He says the staff pushed him and his cohort forward and “showed us we can do it. That people believe in us.”

A leader among his peers, Cody is now thriving and gainfully employed. He’s hoping to travel to California and take his new skills on the cruise ships there.

And would he recommend the program to others? Cody would. “You can learn what the stepping stones are to where you want to be.”

Sign up for Skills Max

We are currently recruiting for Skills Max. The program includes:

  • Employability workshops, including Career Pathways in the hospitality and warehousing sectors
  • Banquet-serving training and job placement with major hotels and conferences; OR warehousing training including forklift certification, St. John’s Ambulance Industrial First Aid, Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) and fall-protection training
  • Working with a placement specialist to be placed in the hospitality or warehousing sectors with local employers
  • On-the-job and financial supports

To register, contact:

Career Zone 
2nd floor - 1256 Granville Street
Vancouver, BC


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