CFER Riverdale opened its doors in January 2007 with thirteen students from the Secondary III and IV levels of Riverdale High School. Since then, it has been growing with many successful graduates leaving the program. The Réseau network oversees all the CFER programs around Quebec by establishing ground rules on how it is to operate. CFER is an acronym for Centre de Formation en Entreprise et Récupération. In September 2022, CFER Riverdale moved its location to John Rennie High School and was renamed CFER Ouest Inc.
A CFER is a self-contained work-study project built upon an environmental theme. There are currently twenty-four CFER programs in operation around the province, working in various fields of activities that include, Electronic Waste Sorting and Dismantling, Wood Recycling, Industrial Waste Sorting, Textile Recycling, and Confidential Paper Shredding. CFER Ouest focuses on Electronic Waste Sorting and Dismantling.
A CFER program is designed to train students for the world of work. Nearly 28% of all labour in our economy is unskilled. Today’s employers claim that what they need from potential employees is a strong work ethic. They do not want students who are trained to carry out a particular task, but rather students who are trained to work and behave appropriately. This includes being on time, dressing appropriately, speaking properly with customers, meeting task deadlines, taking orders, and so forth. This is the training CFER Ouest provides, and preparation for the world of work is the primary objective of the program.
A CFER program has a threefold mandate:
Develop autonomous students
Produce engaged citizens
Train productive workers
This is achieved by stressing the five values of CFER - autonomy, effort, involvement, respect, and rigor - in all aspects of the school day.
A CFER program consists of three basic components.
Classroom work is focused on developing functional skills in Language Arts, Mathematics, French, and Social Studies with the goal of promoting autonomy, engagement, and productivity.
A CFER also has a business component in which it is run as a non-profit entity and operates as any other business would, with real contracts, production, schedules, safety regulations, etc.
The third component of CFER is the “Caravan,” which is an environmental awareness project in which CFER students visit elementary/high schools to share issues and raise awareness on the question of the environment and recycling. Students perform a skit based on different household materials ending up in a landfill site, versus the recycling center.
Who may enter a CFER?
Students who are 15 years of age and who have concluded that they will likely not be successful in graduating from high school. They may at a later date be ready to make the necessary commitment to do so but are currently not experiencing success.
What will they receive upon completion of the program?
The Réseau Québécois des CFER has an extensive website which provides information on the programs. You can visit the Réseau at www.reseaucfer.ca. Information on CFER Ouest can be found on our Facebook page or by calling 514-697-3210. Arrangements can be made to visit the program as well by contacting the staff.