New programs help vulnerable people re-enter workforce

New Programs Help Vulnerable People Re-enter the Workforce


Looking for employment can be discouraging, but job-searching with limited skill-sets is even more frustrating. The Salvation Army in Courtenay, B.C., has introduced several new programs that give vulnerable people the confidence and expertise needed to re-enter the workforce.

Several months ago The Salvation Army’s community and family services recognized a need to offer practical help that would help stop the cycle of poverty in the community. They set up an office where guests could write and submit resumés online, check emails and search for employment.

“That was a step in the right direction,” says Brent Hobden, community ministries director. “But guests quickly recognized that they didn’t qualify for many jobs because they didn’t have the required skills.”

Before long, a survey was sent out with a list of 20 certified programs that people might benefit from. The response was overwhelming and The Salvation Army began to implement those that were most popular.

To date, a class of 11 students has graduated from a forklift program and one participant has already found work as a result of the course. A first-aid course is set for May 28 and a food safe course is set for June 24.

“You’d be amazed at what a certificate does,” says Hobden. “It’s such a confidence booster. And listing skills makes an impression on a resumé.”

Hobden goes on to say that taking a course in a comfortable and encouraging environment gives some people a better chance of passing a test.

“Seeing the smiles when someone leaves with a certificate in hand is amazing,” says Hobden. “It certainly makes a difference between somebody getting or not getting a job.”


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