Article by; John Campbell/The Independent

CAMPBELLFORD — The Employment Resource Centre is now closed.

Career Edge has taken over its function from Community Living Campbellford/Brighton as part of a province-wide initiative by Employment Ontario to consolidate services it funds to eliminate duplication.

The 18-month transition resulted in a “seamless changeover” locally, Community Living said, because people will still be able to access the same services at the agency’s Campbellford Community Resource Centre (CCRC) on Bridge Street, where Career Edge has been a tenant for two years.

“Everything stays the same,” CCRC manager Vicki Clarke said, but “Career Edge can offer things that we cannot,” such as the Second Career program, self-employment benefits, incentives for employers to hire, employment for youth, and support for older adults.

“It’s everything they’ve done and then a little bit more,” said Erin Brant of Career Edge.

Ms. Clarke said Community Living was “really lucky” to have a “great working relationship” with Career Edge, which made the transition easier to carry out.

Community Living held a wind-down celebration July 27 to showcase the renovations that have taken place at the former Employment Resource Centre, including new furnishings and additional space.

The centre has been “vital to the community” since it opened about 10 years ago, Ms. Clarke said. “It’s been really busy and it’s only going to continue.”

Over the past six years the centre has been used by 23,205 people “who felt they were alone and didn’t have any place to get help to find a job,” she said.

Among those who received help was Lucy Barnett.

“Anybody who has looked for a job knows what a troubling experience it can be,” she said at the celebration. “It takes a lot of time, resource and energy … (and) fortitude to keep looking.”

The Employment Resource Centre “was a huge asset” because it helped her identify what she was good at and gave her “the courage to keep looking for work even at times when I felt I just didn’t want to look for work anymore,” Ms. Barnett said.

Those responsible for making the service available “really deserve to be congratulated, they’ve really done their best to make a difference in a lot of lives.”

The person employed by Community Living to run the Employment Resource Centre will now work with the Career Opportunities Project the agency operates. It’s the only one of its kind in Ontario, a four-week program in which people learn soft skills and how to get and keep a job, gain confidence, and recognize their strengths, Ms. Clarke said.

Career Edge will hire a resource counsellor to join Ms. Brant at the Campbellford office.


Employment Resource Centre closes. CAMPBELLFORD — The Employment Resource Centre has ceased operations but its services and many more will continue to be offered at Campbellford Community Resource Centre through Career Edge. CCRC manager Vicki Clarke explained the changeover at a wind-down celebration. July 27, 2012 John Campbell / The Independent