Chadwick Ouellette hangs up the phone at the Service Canada Centre for Youth (SCCY) on 3rd Avenue.
He checks the paper he’s written the information on to make sure he’s got everything he needs to know about his next casual job.
“I’ve been doing this for five or six years,” he says. “I’m going to school, getting upgrading to become an automotive tech.
“I call the centre every morning for jobs, then they call back with the details of a job they have.”
Students in the casual labour pool don’t know from one day to the next what kind of work they’ll be doing.
“This is a painting job,” Ouellette says. “I’ve built a backyard pond, I’ve done hay baling. I had a construction job which was full time one summer.”
Sometimes, one job can last longer than originally scheduled.
“One of the ladies I did some hay baling for ran into me the other day and wants me to come out and do some more this summer.”
Youth services officer Vivian Houg says students like Ouellette are great to have at the centre.
“We get good reviews all the time from the people he works for.”
Ouellette says some of the people tell him what a good job he’s doing.
“They’ll say, We’re going to call them and tell them what a great job you’re doing’. Sometimes they give me a tip over and above what the job was supposed to pay.”
The system for casual jobs at SCCY works well for Ouellette, who is newly married with a one-month-old baby.
“Some days I can’t get in because I’ve got other things to do with the kid, so I just don’t call in.”
Houg says the system is quite straightforward.
“Students call in and let us know they’re available, then we call them back when we have jobs come in.”
Ouellette says he likes to call in early on the days he’s available.
“They go down the list and the guy at the top gets first choice of the jobs they have.”
Houg points out that experiences like Ouellette’s with the hay-baling job are not unheard of.
“We had three youths who had a casual job stocking for a shoe store in town, and all three of them were offered full-time jobs, one in the warehouse area and the other two on the floor.”
The SCCY is wrapping up Casual Job Weeks today. They had set a goal of 75 casual jobs over the past two weeks. As of Thursday morning, they were at 77. Houg says they have incentive to now try and reach 100.
“One of the other people in the office here said if we got to 100 jobs, she would streak her hair green.”
To mark the wrap-up of the event, the SCCY staff will be taking their office on the road today, setting up at the Rotary Skate Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.