Putting plans into action and creating summer jobs
Published Tuesday, July 4, 2017 4:59PM EDT
Finding summer employment isn't always easy and more than a dozen students in Sault Ste. Marie are taking matters into their own hands.
Walker Gregoire was busy on Tuesday splitting wood.
Gregoire has to have three cords ready to go this week and if he doesn't get it done, he will have no one to blame, but himself.
He is his own boss; running Walker's Wood.
"It's awesome," said Walker.
"During my breaks I can go for a swim in the lake because it’s hot in the summer and get back to work in the next half hour."
At 16-years-old, its Walker's first job. And living outside of Sault Ste. Marie, he knew he didn't want to commute.
"I live an hour away, so driving into town every day to go to work would, for minimum wage would be working for gas money, so it wouldn't be worth it," he said.
So, wanting to stay close to home, he applied and was accepted into the Economic Development Corporation's summer company program.
Students are given $1,500 to start up their own business and become their own boss for the summer.
In exchange, they have to meet target hours; 280 for high school students and 480 for university students.
They also receive mentors to help them along the way.
"We find that in the school system there are so many other things that teachers are covering, but entrepreneurship isn't strongly focused on," said Angela Bruni, economic development officer.
"So, our responsibility is to promote this as an option for students."
Bruni adds some students decided to go this route after not being able to find work for the summer.
At the end of the summer, all of the successful students who have completed the program will receive an additional $1,500. That money can be used to continue operating their business or they can spend it however they want.