Centres play valuable role in search for job

YMCA WorkBC Employment Services Centres have been operating in three South Okanagan communities for the past year

Looking for a job is never an easy task. When that search is complicated by a global economic downturn, it is easy to become disillusioned and feel there is nowhere to turn.

The continued economic uncertainty has brought some tough times for many Okanagan families. But the efforts of one organization is making a difference one job hunter at a time.

YMCA WorkBC Employment Services Centres have been operating in three South Okanagan communities for the past year. Working in partnership with a variety of South Okanagan agencies, the WorkBC centres provide free assistance to job seekers, and offer a full complement of services including access to training, self-employment, employability workshops, wage subsidy and job start supports.

The centres offer two types of services. For the more independent job seeker, the self-serve area is equipped with computers, fax, photocopier, job boards, labour market information and is staffed by a team of facilitators. More individualized assistance is available through their professional employment advisors.

Robert Bryce, the Penticton area manager, said client volumes have grown steadily, with significant activity being seen so far this year.

One of the early goals for WorkBC was to reach out to young people and encourage them to use their services. The YMCA is connecting with youth on their own terms, using social media like Facebook and twitter to reach out to the younger generation.

That allows Work BC to pass along information that can provide valuable assistance to someone looking for work. And that help lets job hunters know that no matter how tough it gets, they don’t have to go through it alone.