Centres offer help to Okanagan job hunters

YMCA-YWCA open three new employment service centres in Penticton, Summerland and Princeton

Three new employment service centres are open in the South Okanagan, all operating under the auspices of the YMCA-YWCA.

“The Y has over 14 years experience in the delivery of employment programs in the Central Okanagan and over 10 years of experience in delivering employment programs in the South Okanagan,” said Robert Bryce, Employment Program of B.C. Penticton catchment manager.

“In addition, the Y has built relationships with hundreds of employers in the South Okanagan, resulting in both expertise in the delivery of employment services and a strong network to support both job seekers and employers. Many local residents are familiar with these organizations and will be pleased to see many friendly, familiar faces.”

Though they just had their grand openings recently, the three South Okanagan WorkBC Employment Services Centres have been open since April in Penticton, Summerland and Princeton.

“We had a soft opening April 2,” said Bryce. “The focus was on transitioning clients from legacy employment programs. We assisted those clients and moved them into case management.”

The WorkBC Centres offer free employment services for job seekers aged 16 to 65-plus and are accessible to all unemployed British Columbians who are seeking employment and are legally eligible to work in B.C. There is a wide range of services to support job seekers to find and maintain employment and to improve their employment readiness. The Employment Program of British Columbia is funded by the provincial and federal governments.

“It’s a great honour to be part of the launch of these WorkBC Employment Services Centres here in the South Okanagan,” said Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff. “We’re confident that these new employment centres will provide local people with the supports they need to get back into the workforce.”

There is a labour market information board (job postings), access to community resources, free photocopying and faxing, and free computer access for job searches. Bryce estimates that on busy days, they are already serving more than 100 clients per day in the self-serve area.

“That’s probably a fair number, and we have the capacity to assist more than that as well,” said Bryce. “Going back to April, we haven’t seen a lot of youth. We are trying to get the message out to youth that are exiting the school system that we exist and we are able to assist them as well.”

In Penticton, the WorkBC Employment Services Centre is at 50 Calgary Ave., and the satellite centre in Summerland is at 103-13415 Rosedale Ave. The Princeton centre is located at 206 Vermilion Ave. and itinerant employment services, provided by On Your Mark Employment Services, will serve rural and remote communities in the South Okanagan by appointment.

Both individuals and employers can access on-line job search and employment assistance through the Y’s employment website at www.ymca-ywcaworkbc.ca.

For more information about the Employment Program of B.C. and WorkBC Centres, visit www.WorkBCCentres.ca.

YMCA-YWCA Okanagan has many community-based service delivery partners who provide employment services at the WorkBC Centres. Each partner offers a range of specialized experience and expertise in helping job seekers and employers in the community. The Y’s service delivery partners are Bowman Employment Services, Partners in Resources Inc., South Okanagan Women in Need Society, Community Futures South Okanagan, On Your Mark Employment Services, and Princeton and District Community Skills Centre.