WINDSOR, N.S. - Employment centres across Nova Scotia, including the Avon Region Community Development Association (ARCDA) located in the Windsor Mall, recently underwent a rebranding and restructuring with the intent of improving services for job seekers looking to find work, and for employers to find employees.
During a press conference in Windsor on Jan. 16, Hants West MLA Chuck Porter touted the achievements of Nova Scotia Works, the network that encompasses employment centres across the province.
According to a press release, more than 22,000 Nova Scotians have received employment services at one of the 49 Nova Scotia Works centres across the province since September 2016.
“My office has been very pleased to have people come through here and get some work experience, it’s important,” Porter said, acknowledging that although the institution has changed in name, the organizations within the network have been staples in their communities for many years.
“It’s a fresh look with new ideas and it’s effective. People are coming in, getting guidance. How do I get around? What do I need to do? Who do I need to talk to? This is a great resource and very valuable for us.”
Porter said a lot of people went to career counselling after Fundy Gypsum shut its doors in 2011.
“It’s extremely crucial here based on the fact that we’ve got lots of folks looking for work,” he said. “And for those that are looking for a career change, maybe Glooscap is a new opportunity, or other employers that are out there, it’s connecting the two.”
Porter said the accreditation process through the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCDA) proves that Nova Scotia Works staff knows what they’re doing.
The province has partnered with the NSCDA to ensure consistent practises across Nova Scotia Works.
More than 150 Nova Scotia Works employees have completed the career development certification process so far. The first and 150th career practitioners to receive their accreditation were present at the press conference to thank those that made it possible.
Recent data from Statistics Canada shows positive job numbers nationally, with unemployment at a record low of 5.7 per cent at the national level. However, Nova Scotia and other Atlantic Provinces remain far behind, with unemployment in this province hovering around 8.8 per cent.
Porter acknowledged that there’s more work to do and added that Nova Scotia Works is a part of that.
“Some areas of the province are struggling more than others,” Porter said. “If we have one person who’s unemployed and looking for work, there’s value in this centre and those like it. We need to keep it going.”
During the press conference, Catalina Hoffman spoke about her experience with Nova Scotia Works.
After immigrating to Nova Scotia from Costa Rica, with experience and training in psychology, she became a client of Nova Scotia Works after difficulty with landing a position in the province.
She now works with an organization in Spryfield.
Pam Garland, a certified practitioner based out of ARCDA in Windsor, introduced Nova Scotia Works client Carol Dexter to the Self Employment Benefit program and helped her through the process. Now, Dexter operates Carol’s Home Services in Windsor.
“After 30 years of being a home care provider, I was laid off and visited Nova Scotia Works in Windsor for help,” Dexter said. “Because I have a disability, it was difficult to find traditional employment, but since finishing the program, I am very busy and happy working for myself.”
Nova Scotia Works advisors also work with employers.
“I really value the services available at Nova Scotia Works,” Jeff Redden, owner of Windsor Home Hardware, said.
“The staff are accessible, friendly and, best of all, helpful. They have given me good advice and direction with various human resource issues and they are my first call when I need some help attracting and retaining employees.”
For more information on the organizations and a list of Nova Scotia Works centres click here.