A LOCAL social services agency is receiving just over $200,000 from the federal government for two programs, one concentrating on unemployed young people and the other on homeless people.
Beginning this week, eight young people have signed up for 20 weeks of intensive job skills training involving everything from resume writing to time management from the Terrace and District Community Services Society. This is the third time the society has been able to offer the program, says Paula Peinsznski, its employment services manager. The budget this time is $110,000.
“There’s a big interest and a big need for this program,” said Peinsznski in adding that the eight participants were chosen from 21 candidates.
“It’s a matter of not only teaching the skills but needing the time to use the skills. The challenge we have found is that change is difficult.”
A key part of the program is having the students take part in work experience.
That enables students to put into practical use what they have learned, said Peinsznski.
The society’s second program financed by the federal government at $95,000 will see it expand its offerings at the weekday soup kitchen held at the All Nations Centre on Sparks.
A coordinator is being hired as is a part-time employment skills counsellor to more closely assist homeless people in developing the skills needed to find work. The society already has an informal network of assistance at the centre but it will now be formalizing its efforts, said Peinsznski.
“We’re always looking for ways to connect the individual with the resources that are available,” she said.
In practical terms, that means providing computer access to those who frequent the soup kitchen and arranging for food and clothing if necessary.
“For those who want to find a job, they may not have appropriate clothing,” Peinsznski added. “We’ll now be able to identify strengths and weaknesses.”