If you ask Myles Richter if he has a secret weapon for recruiting in manufacturing for his frontline and entry-level positions with Lux Architectural Products, he’ll immediately point to recruitment efforts from Workforce Development.
“For us this program has been a hidden gem that we have shared with multiple business contacts, who like us, were struggling to find reliable workers,” says Richter. “It is somewhat perplexing that there seems to be a bit of a labour shortage while capable people are in our own community that only require a second chance at work. It is hard for me to believe that more businesses do not see the benefit of hiring candidates from the Workforce Development program.”
Filling vacancies in manufacturing has been a challenge across the industry, and business owners are seemingly constantly considering new approaches to finding talented and hard-working individuals looking to make an impact with their work. For Richter, that solution has been Workforce Development.
Multiple Successful Hires
Over their first year working with Workforce Development, Richter was able to successfully add three members to his manufacturing team. He worked closely with the Workforce Development team to identify suitable candidates to fill their entry-level vacancies.
“Whenever we are in need of more help, I can email the team and they will send me some potential employees that are either close to or have recently graduated from the program,” says Richter. “It is a bonus for us that the team at Workforce Development knows what we are looking for as well as what kind of roles the candidates would be best suited for within our business.”
It’s not only the employer partners that the Workforce Development team gets to know so closely. The team gets to know each individual program participant on a deeper level to understand their employment and life goals – and how different employers can help them realize their goals. By knowing both the employers and potential employees so well, they can better match opportunities for better business results.
Ready to Make an Impact on your Business and the Community
Beyond the benefit to the business, Richter also recognizes the need to allow people to find work where they will flourish. Having the best of both worlds means he can hire a team of dependable and capable individuals – while also helping people looking to re-enter the workforce and make an impact on their community.
“As a business, we are able to hire capable, reliable people with real life experience and work ethic,” says Richter. “The program provides training courses relevant to their work here such as CPR and First Aid certification and forklift training at no charge to us. From a business perspective, we can hire quality people that are willing and ready to work – but from a personal perspective, we are able to hire decent humans that deserve a second chance in the work force.”
Our Workforce Development program is looking for new employer partners – including ones in the manufacturing, warehousing, and construction industries. Discover how partnering with Workforce Development could help you and your business thrive. Because everyone deserves work that allows them to shine.
When Emcee Construction began renovating our Community Space, it wasn’t necessarily looking to fill in some frontline and entry-level roles on the construction team. But after learning about the Workforce Development program, Construction Manager Corey Wong immediately saw advantages to partnering with this program for recruiting construction workers.
“The process was very easy,” says Wong. “The candidate interviews went very well, and they started right away. Once on-site, they took to the construction environment very quickly.”
Partnering with Workforce Development adds a personalized advantage to recruiting for multiple industries, including construction. We look deeper into each individual’s goals, strengths, talents, and interests to place them in work environments where they will flourish.
Ready to Start Work from Day One
Wong notes that a huge driver for his recruiting through Workforce Development is that candidates are typically already trained and certified – so that’s less time he needs to spend on training and explaining the construction environment.
“Because of the courses taken while in the program, they get a clear idea of what they want to do, and we don’t end up with someone who, once on the job, decides they don’t want to be there, and that’s just lost time for all involved,” says Wong. “The program creates realistic expectations for the worker and, by getting them access to the certifications that will be required by the employer, they then become very attractive as new hires.”
Certifications that program participants gain through Workforce Development can include construction safety, First Aid and CPR, forklift operations, and more. Because the program participants guide much of their own development, they can work on the goals that are relevant to them – giving program workers the opportunity to find and help individuals through their certifications.
Providing an Opportunity to Excel where it’s Needed Most
On top of all the certifications and other advantages to recruiting construction workers with Workforce Development, Wong fully recognizes how this program helps people not only get back to work – but find work that’s meaningful for them and allows them to excel.
“Because we are a smaller construction company, we have few opportunities for hiring,” says Wong. “To be able to give that opportunity to someone who has in the past struggled to find work, is very gratifying. I remember what it was like when I was young and wanted to get into the construction field with no experience. It can be quite difficult. Our new worker is committed. And once you have good workers you can rely on, you can just concentrate on the work.”
Our Workforce Development program is looking for new employer partners – including ones in the construction, warehousing, and manufacturing industries. Discover how partnering with Workforce Development could help you and your business thrive. Because everyone deserves work that allows them to shine.
To fill his frontline and entry-level positions, LD Filtration’s Vice-President and Partner Dakota Ward typically receives resumes and applications from the usual job websites – but had never received an application from a program like Workforce Development. He explains that after receiving an application from one of the team members on behalf of a program participant, he became interested in what else Bissell Centre’s employment program could offer.
“The team member explained how the program worked and the additional supports from Bissell Centre for the candidate, and how it would assist both the candidate and our company in finding a good fit for our vacancy,” says Ward. “After reviewing the program further and then having a conversation with the team at Workforce Development, we thought it was a win-win for everyone involved, especially helping an individual making life changes and getting back into the workforce.”
Since that first contact with the team, Workforce Development has been a mainstay for Ward and LD Filtration. As a distribution warehouse and manufacturer of filtration products, Ward appreciates the impact the program makes on Edmontonians looking to re-enter the job market.
Trained and Certified with Work in Mind
During the initial portion of the program, participants have the opportunity to pursue relevant training, and Ward more than understands the value of having new team members already trained and certified before they even start. He points to the fork truck operation certification and First Aid/CPR training as incredibly valuable skills that his new hires brought to their first day of work.
“The additional training and certification that candidates receive through this program is incredibly attractive to a recruiter or employer – it surprises me that there aren’t more of these programs out there,” says Ward. “This is a huge advantage as an employer. Training new team members takes time, money and, more often than not, another team member’s time and attention, which short-hands the rest of the crew.”
The training and certification come at no cost to Ward or LD Filtration – and the company is able to save even more money with their new team member’s salary being partially covered by Bissell Centre through a Government of Alberta grant. The additional wraparound services Ward’s newest team member can still access from Bissell further ensures they have everything that they need; so when they come to work, they can put in their best effort.
Providing Opportunities to Those Who Need it Most
The best part of partnering with Workforce Development? If you ask Ward, it’s knowing that a new all-star team member who may have not had the opportunity to join the team otherwise now can make an impact with their work. With the myriad of reasons as to why someone might be struggling to find work, Ward knows that all some folks need is their chance to shine and excel.
“If someone in my network asked me my thoughts on it, I would encourage them to push aside any preconceived notions and try out the program – I wish I had sooner,” says Ward. “This program linked us with a great individual who has shown great interest in our company, mission and further career advancement, and we’re very eager to support him through this.”
Our Workforce Development program is looking for new employer partners – including ones in the warehousing, manufacturing, and construction industries. Discover how partnering with Workforce Development could help you and your business thrive. Because everyone deserves work that allows them to shine.
When Russell came to us, he had been sleeping under trees, struggling to find work. After spending a decade stuck in a cycle of addiction and poverty, he knew it was time to make a change.
Life had not been easy for Russell. As a child growing up in a family of eight, he recalls getting teased because of his hand-me-downs and for the holes in his clothes. Food was limited, as his dad worked to support six children. As a teen, Russell was incredibly talented at baseball—it was something he could have pursued as a career. But his family just didn’t have the money to support his dream.
As an adult, Russell lived and worked in Fort McMurray with his wife. However, times became difficult when his relationship came to an end. He sold his house and moved to Edmonton where he struggled to find work and a place to live. Unable to cope with the past and deal with his current situation, Russell turned to alcohol to numb his pain. For the next 10 years, homelessness became a way of life for Russell as he struggled with addiction and loneliness. Russell recalls the most difficult part of living on the streets was being so isolated: “There was nobody. Just me.”
There was nobody. Just me.
One day, Russell saw someone in coveralls heading to work and asked them where he could go to find a job. That’s when he first heard about Bissell Centre. He quickly reached out for help. Although overcoming his addiction wasn’t easy, with Bissell Centre’s help, Russell managed to find and maintain steady work as a landscaper. Today, he still works for the same company after nine years of employment.
Our generous donors have directly impacted people like Russell, and for that he is so grateful. “It gives me the opportunity to start growing up like a tree,” he shares. “Look at me, I’m 100% happy!”
Not only did a steady income give Russell the confidence to sustain a livelihood, the housing program helped him to find a home and a family. “I know when I’m coming home, I’m coming home,” shares Russell. He is so grateful to have security and to be leading a dignified life—a life of growth and transformation that he hopes can spread to others who are struggling.
“I can get up and put a cup of coffee on and I go up there in the cupboard to get something to eat,” he says. “I don’t have to stand in line-ups.”
As the season of gratitude approaches, Russell looks forward to sharing his gratitude at Bissell Centre’s Thanksgiving dinner. He reminisces about how wonderful it was to be a part of something when he was feeling alone.
“Everything looked so perfect—from the cloths on the tables to the flowers in the pots,” he says. “It was so well organized and well done.” It is these meals that are often the first steps towards growth and transformation for those who are struggling.
Like Russell, we are so incredibly grateful for your gifts that have supported so many people throughout the years. Thank you for supporting our programs that have done so much for our Edmonton community!
Hard as things got for Joe* he never gave up. Bissell Centre never gave up on him either. Look at what happened!
Employed for many years in the hospitality industry, Joe faced some serious health problems. He couldn’t sustain full time work so Bissell Centre helped with casual labour placements when Joe needed some work. Joe’s health problems were so serious they required six operations to address. Demoralized and losing hope, he was encouraged by social workers to apply for AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped).
Through his ongoing relationship with Employment Services, Joe felt he had” someone in his corner” and never completely gave up. Our Jobs First coordinator got to work with Joe and together they took actions to increase Joe’s skill development, self-awareness, confidence, and his competencies.
Last week Joe completed his second interview with a major Canadian coffee company and was hired as the Regional Manager for Quality Control. Joe’s new position will start in mid-August and his starting wage is $60,000 plus a generous benefits package.
Joe told us he now wants to speak at our pre-employment sessions about his positive experience in our Employment Services program but more importantly to act as a testimony to never giving up.
Our mission is to work with others to move people from poverty to prosperity. When you support Bissell Centre, this one example of how you help change lives.
Please consider supporting Bissell Centre’s life-changing work in our community.
Click Here to Donate.
* Not his real name
[cross posted from our Face Book page– please check out our Facebook postings!]
A line starts to form at 6:30 am each morning at the Bissell Centre Drop-in. By 7:00 am, the line builds upwards to 200 individuals. What’s surprising to people is that 50-75 of those in line aren’t there for a meal or a place to rest; they are there for work.
Bissell Centre partners with 500+ employers to provide casual labour jobs for people in need. People who are working–hard–to climb out of poverty & homelessness. In 2013, our Casual Labour Program helped provide 14,000 positions, putting nearly one million dollars in the pockets of Edmontonians living in poverty.
This year we are exploring ways to expand our capacity to place more people in jobs, not only casual labour placements, but also in longer terms contracts and permanent positions. Stay tuned for more as the year progresses.
Learn more about our Employment Services and our Casual Labour Program.
At Bissell Centre, we want to ensure that we’re doing all that we can to enhance the quality of life for all who live, work and frequent the McCauley Area, where we’ve been based since 1910.
Part of our commitment is playing a role in helping to revitalize our community, making it a cleaner and more accommodating place for everyone.
We pay attention to what happens in our community and our city in order to be the best neighbours that we can. The McCauley Revitalization Strategy, which took shape a couple of years ago, has allowed us to continually focus on our role in improving our community. Cleanliness was a key concern identified by all parties who helped in the formation of the strategy.
For us, this provided an amazing opportunityâ€¦
With grant funding becoming available through the City of Edmonton, we’re proud to say that we were successful in recruiting a Clean Streets Coordinator! The Clean Streets Coordinator will be able to hire teams of people who are registered in our Casual Labour Program. It will assist us to work with businesses, individuals and other agencies in the community to make our streets and public spaces cleaner and safer.
Helping to revitalize the community, support those looking for work, enhancing our role in developing our community and working to eliminating poverty by empowering peopleâ€¦its part of what we do!
Bissell Centre is urging the public to helpâ€¦ ensuring those in need can continue to receive job opportunities that require safety equipment. As construction season ramps up in our city, Bissell Centre is in great need of 200 pairs of new and gently used men’s steel-toe boots, size 9 – 12 to ensure low income individuals looking for work are able to get jobs and work safely.
Guided by the vision of eliminating poverty in our community, Bissell Centre works with others to empower people to move from poverty to prosperity. “Employment Services plays a key role in connecting Edmonton’s impoverished population with meaningful work placements,” says Mark Holmgren, CEO Bissell Centre. “Many placements require basic safety equipment, which Bissell Centre normally provides, but currently there are no steel-toe boots available for program participants.”
We are asking the community-minded citizens of Edmonton to donate CSA approved steel-toe boots to us at 10527 96 Street, or our Thrift Shoppe Sorting Centre at 8818 118 Ave.
OR you can donate to buy a pair and get a tax receipt using our donations page.
Bissell Centre’s no-fee job placement service, its Casual Labour program, helps the community by connecting employers and workers, enabling placements to occur seven days a week. In 2012 the program saw remarkable success in filling over 14,000 placements, putting $1M into the hands of the less fortunate community. Since many of the placements are helping with concrete labour, roofing installation, and construction labour, steel-toe boots are often a necessity to being able to assist our impoverished population in finding employment and helping them move out of poverty.
In addition to temporary placements Bissell Centre provides worker training; this includes work preparedness programs, pre-employment training, safety training, employment counseling, resume building and life skills training.
For more information about Bissell Centre Employment Services please contact Mark Bubel, Employment Services Manager at 780-423-2285 ext 139.
Recently out of jail, a man came to Bissell Centre looking to make a change in his life. He showed a great deal of motivation, but needed some assistance to gain additional skills and confidence to start a career and get a full-time job. He joined our Moving Up pre-employment program and looked to his peers and program facilitator for support. Through the course of the four week program we helped him develop a work plan, complete job searches, and pick an industry for work – construction!
Through the training (safety tickets), coaching, supported job searches, resume building, and interview skills he received, he now is working full-time in the construction industry and making $27/hour!
If you would like to support our work in helping people make positive changes in their life, and motivating them to move from poverty to prosperity, please visit our Donate page.
Bissell Centre employee Sissy Thiessen shares her story of assuming the various positions of volunteer, program participant and employee within Bissell. This is a three-part series that will be published separately.
By: Sissy Thiessen
PART 2: Me as a Participant of Bissell Centre
The next phase I entered in my journey at Bissell was on the other side of the table- as a program participant. While I was still a volunteer, the manager of Food Services offered me an opportunity to participate in a First Aid Course as part of a women’s program that was running at the time. It was a full day course, offering a certificate in Standard First Aid, as well as infant-level CPR c. Realizing an opportunity for professional development when I see one, I jumped at the offer. There were about 10 of us, all appearing to be of First Nations descent. Some were with child, others said they had to make stressful arrangements to coordinate child care for the day. Read More…