Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Aboriginal Communities get a helping hand to break down barriers

August 22, 2014


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Manitoba Works! Helping Provide Northern Employers with Skilled Workers to Grow Businesses: Premier Selinger

The Pas—A new community-based program is helping Aboriginal people overcome barriers to employment, and the challenges in finding and keeping good jobs in The Pas, Premier Greg Selinger announced here today.

“Our Manitoba Works! Cooperative Work Experience pilot program in The Pas is helping local people learn new skills, find good jobs and realize their full potential,” said Premier Selinger.  “It is also helping fulfill the labour needs of northern employers who need skilled workers to grow their businesses.”

Manitoba Works! is a cooperative work experience program that connects Aboriginal job seekers with employers that need skilled workers.  The province works with community service providers who provide training and job placement services, said the premier, adding it also includes comprehensive, ongoing supports for both the worker and the employer, a key to long-term job success.

“This program enhances employment and training opportunities and increases future development in our communities,” said William J. Lathlin, deputy chief, Opaskwayak Cree Nation.  “We look forward to our continued relationship with FireSpirit and the Province of Manitoba.”

The pilot program in The Pas is offered in partnership with FireSpirit, a First Nation-owned company that provides a range of employment services that facilitate training and jobs for people in northern communities as well as providing services to employers looking to increase the Aboriginal workforce. 

“We are proud to be a partner in the Manitoba Works! project in The Pas and as the primary service provider we are very pleased with our project results to date.  Parents with young children, whom we focus on recruiting into our program, in cooperation with Training and Employment Services and Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance, have significant skills and resilience,” said Lawrence Daniels, president and CEO, FireSpirit.  “We have been humbled by the experiences of our clients, by the results they are achieving finding employment and by the personal prosperity they are creating in our area.  This success belongs to our clients and the families they are now working to support.”

Manitoba Works! is also being piloted at three other sites in the province including at Opportunities for Employment, the Momentum Centre and Reaching E-Quality Employment Services in Winnipeg.

“More than 131 participants have already benefited from the four pilot programs including youth, persons with disabilities and parents with young children, and up to 141 additional individuals are expected to participate in the pilot programs,” said Premier Selinger.  “This is a significant part of the government’s skills strategy which builds towards increasing Manitoba’s labour force by 75,000 workers by 2020.”

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