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.
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.
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.
BladeRunners 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.
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.
Suzanne Catto - Chilliwack BladeRunners Coordinator
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.
Amanda Dugas - BladeRunners Program Support Worker
As the BladeRunner Program Support worker I bring with me a Degree in Social Science and over seven years experience working in the social service sector, primarily with Aboriginal clients. Within this role I will be utilizing my years of facilitation skills to deliver components of the BladeRunners program in both the Chilliwack and Surrey BladeRunner locations. Working between the two locations my primary role is to assist the coordinators in providing exceptional service to multi-barrier Aboriginal youth to enter into the job market.
I am excited to be working with SASET BladeRunner program to provide the essential skills and training for the future success of our Aboriginal communities in our catchment area.