Jordan MacDonald, intern with Ecotrust Canada, and Alicia Garcia, one of the trainers with Hectate Strait, are hoping to wheel in enough customers at the pop-up Trading Coast Store, to develop a sustainable space to provide hands-on training opportunities for people seeking work in the retail business.

“More than just a hello”: Pilot project hoping to better train up-and-coming business owners

Hectate Strait and Ecotrust Canada partner on social enterprise opportunity in Prince Rupert

A new pop-up store in Mariners Park is hoping to bring in enough customers to develop a sustainable space to provide hands-on training opportunities for people seeking work in the retail business.

The Trading Coast Store is run by the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society in partnership with Ecotrust Canada.

“Our goals at Hecate Strait are to support people to succeed at work and help to create a strong local economy,” Shauna Wouters, chief administrative officer for Hecate Strait, said.

Wouters said they heard from employers and businesses that locals need better training to take on customer service roles, and that micro-businesses need opportunities to get their products to the market.

READ MORE: Hecate Strait to administer new employment program

“We see the Trading Coast Store, an employment social enterprise, as a solution to these challenges. If the pilot is a success, you can expect to see the Trading Coast grow and become a permanent retail space in the city,” Wouters said.

If all goes well with the pilot project in August, they plan to extend the store’s operations into the fall to run a training program with those seeking work.

“Mock interviews, conversations, and transactions are completely different than interacting with a real person,” Tyler Portelance, one of the trainers who focuses mainly on customer service, said.

Portelance said they are hoping to take workers beyond the simple “hello, how are you?” and develop their knowledge about Prince Rupert to provide tourists with a more positive customer service experience.

“We want [the trainees] to guide people around the city in an accurate manner and know their city enough to get a sense of the things that are happening here,” Portelance said.

The trainees will also do hands-on inventory handling, set up displays, create graphics and other marketing material, learn the P.O.S. system, and how to handle payments.

The Trading Coast Store is open for three more days in August during cruise ship days to see how viable the project is.

Currently, 11 local Prince Rupert artists and designers, plus one from Kitimat, have submitted their items for sale from clothes, quilts to paintings.


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sports Briefs: Busy weekend ahead on the trails and the links

Summer winds down with a pair of competitions

Australian gold mining giant acquires Red Chris mine

Newcrest now owns 70 per cent of the mine south of Iskut and operatorship

Haida Gwaii storm causes B.C. ferry delay

Skidegate to Prince Rupert route affected

Prince Rupert Rampage 2019-20 season schedule released

Trio of games against Terrace River Kings plus showdowns against new teams highlight the season

Council briefs: Gurney marks one year as Lester Centre’s manager, marina revenues down

Council supports Métis Awareness week but has concern over raising Infinity Flag

Captain, all-star, MVP, and all about the team

Brittanne O’Connor’s drive to create Prince Rupert’s own women’s team has led to success and inspiration

The Northern View announces inaugural Tyee Fishing Derby in Prince Rupert

More than $7,000 up for grabs for biggest legal salmon and halibut

The Northern View 2019 Readers Choice

It’s that time of year again! Vote online or at the Prince Rupert office before noon on Aug. 30

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pregnant teachers fight to change WorkSafeBC compensation rules

Agency does not recognize risk to unborn babies when mother catches illness from work

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read