When Lonia Cyr moved to Sidney from Alberta, finding work proved tougher than she had anticipated.
“The job market was really tough at first,” she said about the challenge of gaining employment in Greater Victoria. But Cyr’s job search difficulties were overcome when she partnered with a local organization dedicated to helping people find work.
Beacon Community Services recently regained the contract to run the WorkBC program on the Peninsula, a contract most recently held by Career Assistance and Resources for Employment (CARE). Beacon took on the program this spring and has helped write many success stories similar to Cyr’s.
“We’re really helping people to gain the tools and skills they need to find their own jobs,” said Nicole Eyre, a WorkBC job developer with Beacon Community Services who worked with Cyr. “The assistance is for anyone who is unemployed or underemployed.”
Beacon offers clients help with resumés, provides job search resources, presents related seminars and in some circumstances, arranges co-operative job placements.
“Some people come in and meet with a case manager and work with them to find a job. Others come in to use our resources like the computers or workshops, and some people just want help to tweak their resumes,” Eyre said.
“We never know what someone will need until they come to us, and we see a large cross-section of people.”
The organization sees everyone from young people looking for their first job, to retirees looking for part-time work – even stay-at-home moms looking to return to work once their children have grown older, Eyre said.
“(Beacon) helped me a great deal by just being supportive and helping me find jobs to apply for and giving me suggestions,” Cyr said. “They assisted me with my resumé and offered different classes that helped me gain self-confidence.”
Beacon is hosting a work fair Sept. 20 for anyone interested in job opportunities. It’ll feature employers from the Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the SHOAL Centre in Sidney.
“The event is a chance for jobseekers to access potential jobs,” said Eyre, adding that attendees should come prepared with resumés and be ready to answer interview questions.
Among the employers on hand will be Lordco, Peninsula Co-op, Monk Office Supply, Epicure Selections, Bayshore Home Health, Sears Canada and Volunteer Victoria.
For more information on Beacon Community Services, WorkBC or the hiring fair, please call 250-655-5313 or visit beaconcs.ca.