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Nelson sees benefits from Employment Program of BC

Nelson Daily Staff
By Nelson Daily Staff
April 29th, 2014

Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation Don McRae was in Nelson Friday to help celebrate the second anniversary of the Employment Program of BC (EPBC).

The program has help put locals to work, including the renovation of the former CPR building at the foot of Baker Street in Nelson.

“The latest partnerships in Creston and Nelson show the diverse ways we help people get work experience in their communities,” McRae said during his whistle-stop tour of the Kootenays.

“The communities benefit in a variety of ways as well — from getting support to repurpose a historic train station to refurbishing buildings that assist people with disabilities. That is a priority for the B.C. government and clearly a priority for these organizations.”

In Nelson, $128,967 for the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce is providing work experience for six people as they help refurbish the historic Canadian Pacific Railway station and turn it into a Regional Visitor Gateway.

The gateway will include the local tourist centre and the Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce.

“The Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce and the participants have benefitted tremendously from the Job Creation Partnership,” said Nelson and District Chamber of Commerce executive director Tom Thomson.

The participants are learning transferable skills that have led to private-sector job opportunities and, in some cases, provided the skills and desire to enrol in trades apprenticeship opportunities.”

In the Creston area, $135,929.90 for the Kootenay Employment Services Society has 10 people working on a partnership with three community non-profit organizations: the Therapeutic Riding Association, Creston and District Community Resource Centre Society, and the Kootenay Region Association for Community Living.

When finished, these projects will largely benefit people with disabilities in their communities.

Job Creation Partnerships were introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.

To date, more than 70 projects have been funded throughout the province, eight in the Kootenay Region.

“Working on the Job Creation Partnership project has been very beneficial for me,” said John, a worker at the CPR renovation project.

“It has allowed me to gain on the job construction experience, expanding my skills and boosting my confidence.”

Quick Facts:

  • In 2014/15, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
  • The Employment Program of BC’s focus is to provide the services and supports that unemployed British Columbians need to find and keep a job.
  • While the majority of the funding supports 85 WorkBC Employment Services Centres across the province, one other important element of the program is a Community and Employer Partnerships fund.
  • Community and Employer Partnerships also increase employment opportunities for unemployed British Columbians through the use of community-based partnerships, shared information, technology and innovation.
  • More than 33,000 employment outcomes have been achieved since the launch of the Employment Program of BC.

The other three components of Community and Employer Partnerships are:

  • Labour Market Partnerships,
  • Project Based Labour Market Training, and
  • Research and Innovation.

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