Building Skills and Confidence: Getting Started with the Red Antiquities Building

Jun. 17, 2013

In today’s labour market it can be very difficult to find meaningful work, especially for youth aged 15-24. The biggest challenge can be overcoming the paradox of obtaining a job with little to no experience; you need experience to get a job, but if you don’t have a job how can you get experience?

It is pretty rare that a potential employer doesn’t want job experience. So when Nick Mocilli finished school, he was surprised to see a job ad requesting just that. Pathways Skills Development, an organization that provides training and skills to new and chronically unemployed workers, offered Nick the opportunity to gain confidence and experience while saving a local heritage building.

The Red Antiquities building, a historical landmark was identified as unstable due to decaying foundation, lack of insulation and services and general disrepair. In order to revive this local gem, Pathways Skill Development and Heritage London joined together to purchase the Red Antiquities Building to restore it to adaptive use. London Community Foundation contributed $5000 towards the restoration of the building, specifically the restoration of the front window and door to its original 1893 design. Pathways London saw this as an excellent opportunity to use this project as a learning laboratory, an environment to effectively train workers and further develop the skills of unemployed individuals in an effort to see them return to meaningful employment.

After the restoration was complete, Pathways proudly reported that at least 30 out of the 37 individuals that worked on the project had secured full-time employment. Nick is especially proud of the many hours he spent stripping, sanding and painting the 139 year-old windows.

“The biggest thing I learned is to have the dedication to come every day and give 100%.”- Nick Mocilli

London’s 2012 Vital Signs Issue Area Getting Started is sponsored by Lashbrook Marketing & Public Relations