Partnership with the Coasters Association
The Coasters Association is a non-profit organization established in 1988 with a clear objective of protecting and furthering the interests of the population and contributing to the vitality of the fourteen (14) communities on the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
One of the programs the Coasters Association has been involved with is the advancement of youth in the region since its inception. The lack of programs, services and resources on the Lower North Shore is higher than other areas of the Province of Quebec, due to the lack of amenities of a larger community.
Through partial funding from Service Canada, the Coasters Association is currently carrying out a project entitled: “Connecting our Next Generation” aiming to match youth in the region aged 15-30 with post-secondary education to organizations on a work experience placement.
Through additional sponsorship from the Steel River Group, one post-secondary graduate, Latesha Fequet from Old Fort Bay was assigned to a work experience placement with the Lower North Shore Bioproducts Solidarity Cooperative and the Lower North Shore Research Facility on May 28th until December 21st, 2018 (30 weeks). Her position as a Researcher and Development Coordinator, will help raise awareness of the current and future projects and assist with activities linked to the Bio Development within these organizations and provide support to the School Science Integration Project in partnership with the Commission Scolaire du Littoral.
“I have been fortunate enough to be selected for the Career Focus Project – Connecting our Next Generation with the Coasters Association, funded by Steel River Group and Services Canada. My position is with the Lower North Shore Bioproducts Solidarity Cooperative and the Lower North Shore Research Facility. I have been working on many projects thus far, such as, assisting with the Training plan for the Cosmetic Manufacturing Facility that will be up and running on the Lower North Shore in the near future, creating a transportation model for all isolated Northern regions, importing and exporting from Canada, posters to bring awareness to the population about what is happening in their local economy and the future opportunities, and so on.
This work placement has allowed me to diversify my skills and knowledge. I have been given the opportunity not only to return to my home, but to learn how in depth and how remarkable this region really is and how much has changed and progressed since I left. My educational background is in Social Work, a huge part of social work is community development. Although I am not directly working in my field, this position has allowed me to grasp the true meaning of community development. We are a region that has been challenged with poverty, decline in population and isolation but we are still thriving, and I would currently say we are excelling. We are the only community in Quebec that will be manufacturing cosmetics using our pristine local resources and completing the process on the Lower North Shore.
The research and innovation that is present on the Lower North Shore is not lacking due to the isolation and this has allowed me to really continue my education in a sense but in a more hands on way. We are a region full of traditional and ecological knowledge which has created a base for our future in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and nutraceutical markets, while keeping our pristine environment intact. I feel privileged to be a part of making this vision become a reality and bringing life back to this precious region.” – Letesha Fequet
In addition, through the generous contribution provided by Steel River Group, one post-secondary graduate, Chenelle Lessard was able to continue with her student internship for an additional four (4) weeks with the Coasters Association in partnership with Centre d’expérimentation et de dévelopment en forêst boréale (CEDFOB) as a “Youth Green Intern”, supporting the lingon berry farming, apiculture, and composting initiatives.
“I was provided an opportunity to complete a fourteen (14) week student internship with the Coasters Association in partnership with the Lower North Shore Bioproducts Solidarity Cooperative, funded by CEDFOB, Municipality of Bonne Esperance, and Steel River Group, allowing me to work on the Lower North Shore of Quebec, in the area that I grew up. Working in this region gave me a sense of pride and a strong desire to become involved and make changes for the greater good of the area. I had been introduced to many different opportunities that I did not know existed and had greatly widened my knowledge and understanding about the potential in the area.
The internship widened my opportunities and allowed me to explore my interests, and without funding from all partners involved, I would not have been able to set a clear path for my future educational goals.” – Chenelle Lessard
It is through the support of partners that set the stage to improving our youth with an environment to enhance their skills and confidence to assist them in their future endeavors, and the Coasters Association would like to extend our gratitude and recognition to the Steel River Group for their contribution and support and we look forward to preserving the partnership on future initiatives to continue providing services to the residents on the Lower North Shore of Quebec.
Youth Employability Program Manager
For more information about the Coasters Association visit: