Centre assists individuals with employment goals

As the summer slowly fades into the school year, the EK Employment Centre in Invermere proves to be increasingly important.

Every year, over 4,300 individuals access the EK Employment Centre in Invermere to receive information and support for sustainable employment. With the new school year fast approaching, it’s a good time for individuals considering retraining to get more information from the local employment services office.

“Each situation is unique and is based solely on the individual’s need. We always look at options that allow them to get back into the workforce as quickly as possible,” said EK Employment case manager Jennie Hilder in an email interview.

This year EK Employment saw 80 individuals receiving case management services allowing them to receive one-on-one assistance from an employment specialist.

“These individuals have access to services such as training, wage subsidies, job development, customized employment, and or workshops, depending on the individual needs, skills and barriers to employment,” said Hilder.

For individuals interested in retraining or re-entering school, doing so with EK Employment is available any time of the year.

“If training intervention is being considered, it will depend on the individual’s abilities, interests, and skills to determine the best possible training path. We support individuals with basic and essential training, short-term occupational certificate courses or occupational skills training,” said Hilder.

What this means is if an individual needs to obtain pre-requisites such as English as a Second Language (ESL), computer skills or upgrading, this can be done through basic and essential training. Short-term occupational certificate courses include WHMIS, Foodsafe and first aid. Long-term training programs that are typically between six to 10 months in length are also available. These courses include Class 1 Driver, heavy equipment operators, health care assistant and post-secondary training.

“We have a variety of services to assist individuals who are attempting to secure sustainable employment. In addition to the above-mentioned interventions, we offer the following: Self Employment Program, Employment Coaching, Career and Skills Assessments, Referrals for Specialized Assessments, Volunteer Placements, Job Retention Services, Work Experience Placements, Job Development and Customized Employment services,” said Hilder.

The Columbia Valley’s EK Employment Centre is located at 1313 7th Avenue in downtown Invermere and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday to provide assistance to anyone in the community. The centre will hold an open house in September to celebrate Disability Employment Month and promote inclusiveness, accessible workplaces and encourage supports available to help people with disabilities, said Hilder.

Find them online at www.ekemployment.org.