program outcomes

Change it Up! is not about sitting in a classroom or writing the GED.  It is about changing the way we look at employment training and skill development.  Hands on. Strength-based. Getting people from where they are to where they want to be.  With the help needed to get there.

Entrepreneurship button

Change it Up – Entrepreneur ran from 2012 – 2015 (3 sessions). It combined high impact training and hands‐on entrepreneurial experience to help unemployed, multi‐barriered youth (18‐30) prepare for employment/self employment. The full-time program took participants step-by-step through starting their own business and building the skills they need to succeed.

The Results

  • 52 participants completed the program (94% retention)
  • 33 new businesses are operating in the community
  • 83% of all participants (52) are employed and/or self‐employed
  • Demonstrated increases in numeracy and literacy skills (aggregated pre/post testing)
  • Increases in multiple entrepreneurial outcome indicators e.g. Confidence, Business Planning, Presentation Skills, Business Communication, Constructive Thinking, Financial Management
  • Significant and meaningful reductions in Marijuana use (33%) and Other Substance Abuse (71%) (aggregated pre/post testing)
Trades button

Change it Up! Trades ran from 2012 to 2014 as a 7 month, full-time program (2 sessions). It provided a clear, accessible and competency‐based pathway to trades employment for First Nations youth. This included an alternate model for demonstrating readiness for College trades programs as well as targeted programming to enable individuals to address gaps and build competencies related to abilities, understanding and behaviour.

The Program

The program included three phases:

  • a one month Bootcamp to show readiness for the apprenticeship process
  • a 6 month Change it Up! Trades program to build self-confidence and skills needed to succeed in the college preparation program
  • a 4 month Introduction to Trades program at Portage College (Lac la Bich) to prepare for apprenticeship

The Results

  • 33 students participated with with 100% retention rate for the in‐community component
  • 85% of students went on to Portage College and 75% completed the College program
  • 71% passed their trades Entrance Exams
  • There were significant improvement in Essential Skills (TOWES – aggregated pre/post testing)42% Increase in Reading scores/32% Increase in Document Use
  • 65% Increase in Numeracy
  • Significant improvement pro‐social behaviours
  • Significant reduction in at-risk behavior
  • 84% were employed/apprenticed at 1 month post‐training.
What Participants Say button

Hear the voices of our students, past and present as they discuss the impact of CiU in their lives.

Hospitality button

Springing out of the Entrepreneur program, Nipsis Café ran as a social enterprise that transformed the Samson Cree Nation cafeteria into a full-service restaurant, art gallery and lounge (2015 – 2017).  Initial participants gained experience in all aspects of business start‐up, from restaurant design to menu planning. The Café was then transitioned into a hospitality training centre for 2 further sessions.

The ownership of the café has now been successfully transferred to two local entrepreneurs and Change it Up graduates!

Program components included:

  • Entrepreneurial skill development (e.g. budgeting, customer service, social media, pitching ideas)
  • Concrete assistance in building a business idea, creating a business plan and initiating operations
  • Experiential learning in running a business—work experience in Nipsis Café
  • Additional personal development and self awareness to ensure readiness for entrepreneurship

Want to bring Change it Up ​to your community?

Check out the Access Training to start the discussion.

Change it Up is supported by government, business and higher education.

Skill for Success Logo
Canada and Government of Alberta logo