Kathy Nelson

Second Book of Rainbows to highlight the stories of Prince Rupert’s residents

Like the spectrum of colours naturally occurring in Prince Rupert skies, the Book of Rainbows will shine light on residents' contributions.

Like the spectrum of colours naturally occurring in stormy Prince Rupert skies, the Book of Rainbows will shine light on residents’ contributions to the City of Rainbows.

Work is currently underway on the second edition of the Book of Rainbows, a project initiated by the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society in 2013. Individuals seeking work through Hecate Strait are hired to compile the stories of Rupertites, as a way to provide them with experience and training that will help them find permanent employment when the project is complete.

Hecate Strait is receiving more than $56,000 from the Job Creation Partnership, which funds projects that increase employability and share labour market information. For the undertaking, TriCorp is also helping pay for the costs of training courses.

Justine Knott and Kathy Nelson were selected for the 28-week assignment, providing the pair with work experience in research and interviewing. The two are also receiving free transferable skills training, making it easier to find work in the future.

“The Job Creation Partnership project is not just about work experience, it’s about opportunity. The idea is to not only use the resources and training within the organization, but to give participants a greater understanding of the wealth of employment opportunities that are available in the region through the contacts they will make in the community,” said Hecate Strait Development Society project coordinator Duane Jackson, who is leading Nelson and Knott in their work.

“It’s a tremendous learning experience with great teachings. I love learning something new every day,” Knott said.

“The range of possibilities in career choices that open up for us is exciting,” added Nelson.

Like the first edition, the latest installment of the Book of Rainbows will consist of the stories of fascinating people who make up Prince Rupert’s history, with an emphasis on the contributions of Aboriginal people and immigrants to the community.

With Jackson providing guidance, Knott and Nelson started working on the publication in October. The three recently started interviewing people, selecting the individuals to speak with.

Nelson said she’s enjoyed getting to know the history of people she’s seen around the community.

“They’re amazing. Truly amazing,” she said.

“There’s lessons to be learned in each story from people. That’s what I find really great,” she also said.

While at first the interviews were somewhat challenging for Knott and Nelson, they said it has become easier and easier.

“They like telling their story. Some of them think they don’t have a story … [but they all do],” Knott said.

The Job Creation Partnership also provided $53,000 for the first edition of the Book of Rainbows, published in November 2013. Both individuals that worked on the first edition went on to find employment.

The newest Book of Rainbows will be released in March 2015.