Even though The Livingston Centre, which houses over 16 different health and community services under one roof, is physically closed, it’s business as usual, virtually, for the Tillsonburg Multi-Service Centre’s employment services program.
“I’ve spoken to people at the grocery store who told me they saw the closed sign and thought that meant we weren’t providing services anymore,” says Georgina Vincent, the facilitator of the Multi-Service Centre’s adult and youth employment programs, “but we are, virtually.”
The MSC is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting high quality, accessible community services in Oxford, Elgin and Norfolk Counties. Opened in 1978, it’s an accredited, charitable organization providing excellence in employment, literacy and home support services.
Vincent, who worked in employment services at Fanshawe College before joining the MSC seven years ago, facilitates a series of free virtual workshops from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekdays. Part of the MSC’s adult employment services program, they cover transferable skills, resume and cover letter writing, the hidden job market and interview skills.
“A lot of our clients are in panic mode when they come to us for help and they’re ready to take any job, but that’s their first hurdle, because they have no direction,” she says. “They end up taking a job that they hate and circling back to us again.”
To prevent the cycle, Vincent takes the program’s participants through a series of workshop, exercises and activities designed to help them learn more about themselves and the job market, as well as the specific skills they might need to work on to improve their chances of finding the perfect job.
“If you’ve been sending resumes out and nothing is happening, something needs to change,” Vincent explains. “Many people use phrases like “excellent communicator” or “detail-oriented” on their CV but don’t provide any solid examples to back those claims up.”
With many of Tillsonburg’s workers being affected by automation, Vincent says a big part of her job is teaching participants about transferable skills and the new world of work, including all of the jobs that will actually be created by automation.
“That’s a big fear right now, that everyone is going to lose their jobs,” says Vincent. “We try to lower the fear and raise more awareness, as well as provide practical tools and resources.”
In addition to the workshops and other employment services, program participants also have access to additional resources such as clothing for job interviews and other supports.
For more information about the MSC’s adult employment services program, call 519-842-9008 ext. 291 or visit multiservicecentre.com.
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of the Tillsonburg Multi-Service Centre.