The Jobs Creation Partnership (JCP) Project is providing new skills for workers and is administered by the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation.
The $400,000 project is creating new amenities for heritage and recreation sites in the Cariboo. And it’s creating training for participants from May 2016 until March 2017. Meet the JCP Project Crew and their supervisor.
The JCP Crew: (Left to right) Josh Cowie, Art Krumenacker, Thomas Salzbrenner (Project Supervisor), Kenneth Narciss, Dean Archie
It’s all new and Art Krumenacker is liking it big time.
The 100 Mile House resident says he’s learned a lot since he started working on the JCP Project, from new carpentry skills to hot to get a foundation just right.
“I’m liking it big time — I’m learning a lot,” says Krumenacker, who’s originally from Mission. “This is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this.”
Krumenacker moved to 100 Mile House seven years ago. He was looking to learn a new trade when he found out about the JCP Project. Now, he’s done more work with wood than he ever imagined, from building bleachers for the baseball diamond at Canim Lake to building a log structure that will house washroom facilities.
“I’ve never done anything with wood like this. It’s been really informative,” he says.
And all that experience is making the 38-year-old better able to compete in the job market.
“I feel I’m more employable and better prepared for the workplace,” Krumenacker says with a smile. “It’s all been good.”
The JCP Project is helping make Kenneth Narciss’s dream of becoming a carpenter just like his grandfather come true.
“The JCP Project is teaching me new skills to help me further my dreams of being a carpenter so I can start a career,” said Narciss, 22. “My grandfather was a carpenter for 40-45 years.”
Narciss is from Lillooet and tried his hand at landscaping in Alberta. But when after six months he couldn’t find work there, he came back to B.C. and was happy to get a spot on the JCP Project crew.
A member of the Xax’lip First Nation (Fountain), Narciss says he’s learning how meticulous you have to be when working with wood. It’s a whole different ballgame than landscaping, but it’s an experience he’s thoroughly enjoying. And he has a little extra motivation to excel.
“I just had a son,” he grins. “So the program has been very helpful. I’m learning new skills, doing work and providing for my family as well, so it’s a win-win for me.”
For Josh Cowie, the JCP Project is a chance to get back in the job training groove and give something back to the community.
The 28-year-old Cowie grew up in the Cariboo and loves to get out into the countryside. So he’s happy to be working on a project that will provide new amenities for the region’s recreation sites.
“It’s right up my alley,” says the 100 Mile House resident. “I use all the camp sites and recreation sites so it’s cool I can fix them up and maybe even see a couple of new ones.”
Cowie is also enjoying working with the other members of the JCP Project under the guidance of Thomas Salzbrenner, the project supervisor.
“We have a good crew—we all help each other,” he says. “Thomas is a good boss—he’s very picky and that’s good. I’m really enjoying the experience.
Learning new skills and getting training like Bear Aware and First Aid, Cowie says he’s “absolutely more employable” thanks to the JCP Project.
“This got me back in the groove for sure and you’re always learning new stuff,” Cowie said. “It’s just cool I can help out the community too.”
It’s a win-win for Dean Archie.
Not only has working on the JCP Project made him more employable, it’s given him an opportunity to build new facilities for his community.
“I’m from the Canim Lake Band, born and raised,” says Archie, 33. “It’s giving me an opportunity to improve my community — that’s a great reason why I’m excited to be part of this.
The project has also helped Archie make the leap from welding to wood. Everything about the experience has been fun for him.
“I’m a welder and this is my first time working with wood. I’ve learned about carpentry and log building. It’s all new to me and it’s all fun. Everything about it has been fun—it’s a learning experience,” he says.
So far, working on the log structure destined for the Canim Lake recreation site has been the best part for Archie and he’s looking forward to other aspects of the multi-phased project. He’s also happy to be more job-ready.
“For sure it’s making me more employable,” says the soft-spoken Archie. “I’ve already got quite a bit of experience to put on my resume with just the few things we’ve done here. I’ve gained quite a bit of experience in just the few months we’ve been going here.”
Thomas Salzbrenner is the head chef who keeps track of what’s cooking in the JCP Project kitchen. Born and raised in Germany, he was trained as a pastry chef and ran his own restaurant before coming to Canada in 1989. Salzbrenner soon traded his toque blanche for a tool belt and took on just about every aspect of the construction business.
“I love to work with wood,” says Salzbrenner, who lives in Lone Butte. “I like a new challenge and doing different stuff.”
Woodwork is just one recipe in Salzbrenner’s construction trades cookbook. He runs his own construction company and does renovations like tiling and finishing, electrical work and “everything around house building,” even building a European-style house for his parents.
Now he’s overseeing the JCP Project crew. He enjoys teaching the participants new skills, but he also loves learning new aspects of the trades himself, especially the chance to work on log structures.
“I am not that familiar with log buildings and I look forward to the challenge,” says Salzbrenner, 58. “I am proud to be part of this project.”