Job Zone d’emploi a launchpad for young local workers

Job Zone d'emploi Employment Consultant and Job Developer Vicki Muir. Smith photo, Nation Valley News

Currently looking for a job and between the ages of 16-29? Job Zone d’emploi can help.

A perspective by Kelsey Smith
Nation Valley News

Employers and prospective employees within Dundas County may not be aware of the opportunities and help that are out there.

Job Zone d’emploi is fairly well known to job seekers for their free help searching for employment, but many do not know the full extent of what the non-profit organization has to offer.

One of their new services is the Youth Job Connection Program (YJC). The provincially funded  program targets youth ages 16 to 29 who are unemployed, out of school, and a resident of Ontario.

The initiative begins with a three-week session of interactive learning. It pays training for participants at the rate of $11.40 per hour. Training takes place 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, and Fridays from 9 to 11 a.m.

Long a presence in Dundas County, Job Zone d’emploi moved to its current North Dundas address at 530 Fred Street, the Community Care Building, in Winchester, three years ago. It also maintains an office in Cornwall.  

Community Care Building in Winchester. Courtesy photo.

The next session begins June 6 through 23 and is hosted at North Dundas Township’s 636 St. Lawrence Street municipal headquarters.

Vicki Muir oversees the Job Zone d’emploi applicants out of the Winchester office, as well as the employers the job seekers are placed with.

Muir has been with the organization now for over 13 years as an Employment Consultant and Job Developer.

As a Job Developer, Muir aids in providing “support to both the employer and the client, both financially and in training support” once a participant lands a job placement.

The hope is that “it is a good fit and it’s going to be a long-term situation for everyone,” adds Muir.  

This reporter can personally attest to the great success of the training provided. I was part of the YJC last October in Winchester. I gained a lot of knowledge that has not only helped me acquire my position here at Nation Valley News but also how to manage time more effectively, how to be more confident during interviews, and how to write and create my own personal resume.

The program Facilitator, Angele Roy, is incredible. She is very easy to talk to, fun, outgoing, and very approachable.

She takes the information and makes it interactive, which in turn makes it much more enjoyable for the students.  

I am not a shy person by no means, but I was always nervous for interviews. It was very difficult to talk about myself and be confident in what I was saying. Jobzone helped me present my potential strengths to prospective employers.

The program isn’t just for teens who have never held a job before.

I have had various jobs in various fields. I have a college diploma from Algonquin in Interior Decorating. Unfortunately for me, there just aren’t enough jobs with a stable income to help support my family.

I have been working at Nation Valley News for just under two months, and I couldn’t be happier. As a recent graduate of the YJC, I would highly recommend the program to anyone.

Winchester Foodland owner Dan Pettigrew said he would, “Absolutely, 100 percent” recommend that other employers hire applicants from the Youth Job Connection program.

To date he has hired “at least 12 to 15” employees from Job Zone and the YJC “in the last year a half” — many of whom are currently working there.

“The financial remuneration that they give back” is a large benefit to the employer, not to mention “working with Vicki, is like having your very own built-in HR person,” he said.

Pettigrew has “nothing but positive things to say about the program … it works and has a tremendous amount of success. It benefits the community … it’s an absolute no brainer!” he exclaimed.

Currently in its 33rd year of operation in this area, Job Zone d’emploi assists all individuals — currently working less than 20 hours weekly — with their job search needs. They also provide support and services to employers including posting jobs, position screening and training to both the job seeker and employer, if needed.  They are also able to offer other Employment Ontario-funded programs such as Second Career. There are job search workshops available to the general public, and they offer student services as well.  

They encourage the public to visit their website for more information, or call Vicki Muir (appearing in the video below) at their Winchester office: 613-774-5627.



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