Edmontonians who struggle with chronic unemployment have a new service to help them find work. The Salvation Army FUTURES Employment Centre, located at 9611 102 Avenue NW, officially opened its doors on November 3.
The space includes two stations with “well-seasoned” computers, work spaces, job boards, and stations for more computers as the funds become available. Staff from other programs will take shifts throughout the week, with the long-term goal being a full-time, dedicated employee. Volunteers are also needed to assist with the program.
Program participants can receive computer training, get assistance with resume writing, practice language skills, check job boards, and attend sessions that cover topics from taxes to interview skills. FUTURES is available to anyone needing job search support.
“Many of these services are already available through The Salvation Army, but this centre will provide one-stop, focused service,” explains Vanessa Sims, Director of Programs at The Salvation Army’s Addictions & Residential Centre (ARC). “It’s important to eliminate distractions and have an area where clients can focus on polishing job skills and searching for work. It encourages intention and purpose, which can be difficult when one’s self-esteem is impacted by being out of work for a long time.”
Hard economic times have also increased barriers for those who are struggling with addictions and mental health. Sims explains, “So much of the job search world has moved online. How do you send a resume if you don’t have an email account? How do you create a resume? Many of our clients need to be shown many times before they get it down.”
At this early stage, it’s hard to say how many people will use the FUTURES Centre, although Sims believes it’s safe to say it will be in the hundreds. She notes there are 245 clients in the ARC alone.
“They are very proud when they tell us they have found work,” says Sims. “As they settle into their positions, we see their self-esteem improve…We celebrate with them.”
If you are interested in volunteering or donating to support this new program, please call 780-429-4274.