A young Karratha business founder and Paraburdoo sports enthusiast have been nominated for State youth achievement awards.
Cory Byers, 28, from Karratha, and Jake Solomon, 14, from Paraburdoo, are in the running for this year’s WA Young Achiever Awards and among only a handful from the North West.
The awards, started early last year, recognise the contributions of young people aged 29 and under around the State in eight categories, including business, the environment, health and community service.
KBSS Engineering founder and general manager Mr Byers was nominated by colleagues for the small business achievement award for starting KBSS Engineering aged 24 and growing it into an award-winning company with 140 employees in four-and-a-half years.
Mr Byers, whose background is trade work, said starting his own business at a young age without any previous business experience had been daunting.
“I just thought there was something that we could offer that would be better than our competitors,” he said.
“It was a big learning curve, I had no business experience before we started the company so I had to learn that side of things as well as what we were actually doing on site for the client.
“So the last four years has been one massive learning curve, and it’s still going.”
Young Paraburdoo resident Jake was also nominated for the fitness sports award for his two years of dedication to basketball and boxing at the Paraburdoo Youth Centre.
His nominators said he had improved his health, boosted his school performance and inspired friends to be involved in local sport through training.
Mr Byers said it was encouraging to have awards that recognised the achievements of young people.
“I know for young people, when you are a member of a company, you don’t get much time or that much recognition for what you do,” he said.
“So these sorts of things help lift people up because it is draining sometimes, and just that positive feedback helps keep you going.”
Winners will be announced at a presentation dinner in Perth on Friday, May 12, and receive $2000 prizemoney each.
One will also be chosen as the overall WA Young Achiever of the Year.