Job Options BC coming to Invermere

A new program aims to help those unemployed or looking to learn important life skills.

A new program is coming to the District of Invermere to help those seeking employment or wanting to learn life skills. Job Options BC can help the unemployed or those simply looking to develop their life skills in Invermere on May 2. The program first began in fall of 2010, and has since completed three events – two in Cranbrook and one in Kimberley.

Job Options BC is a 10-week skill-building program for people who have not had a regular EI attachment in the past three years (five for maternity leave).

The first six weeks of the program features a minimum of 25 hours per week of employment and life skills training. Participants will receive a weekly training allowance during this phase. The last four weeks, which is the second phase of the program, is an employer or community-based work experience with the intent to lead to long-term employment.

“The employment skills and life skills taught will help you for the rest of your life, as well as at a new job,” said Dennis Mousseau, vocational counsellor and group facilitator with Job Options BC. “You’re also paid to be there. If you have no source of income, this is a huge benefit.”

The Job Options BC program pays participants $10 an hour while attending. The program will also subsidize wages for employers with a payment of 50 per cent of the wage, up to a maximum subsidy of $8 per hour, paid directly to the employer.

Individuals who are eligible for the program are those who are unemployed, have not had a regular EI claim in the past three years, have not have a parental or maternal EI claim in the past five years, are over the age of 18, are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants, reside in B.C., and are not students.

Job Options BC focuses on employment skills such as resume building, interview skills, how to conduct a job search, cover letters, networking, computer skills and more. Life skill training includes communication skills, anger, stress and time management, self-esteem building, goal-setting and personal planning and more.

“Every piece of feedback I’ve received about the program is positive,” said Mousseau. “People are walking away feeling better about themselves, and numerous participants have gone on to full-time employment.”

The program requires at least 12 participants to begin. For more information or to sign up for Job Options BC call 250-426-8019, or email Mousseau at

Job Options BC is presented by the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia, CARF Canada, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.