The Newmarket company Job Skills has helped nearly 200 women find jobs after receiving a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation in 2018.
The $742,200 grant supported the Simpact Practice Firm program which, despite COVID-19, was able to support 240 women over 36 months and help them develop the skills needed to find careers and financial stability. Of the women who participated in the program, 195 obtained employment.
The program targeted women between the ages of 25 and 64 who did not have the experience necessary to enter the labor market. It ended in February 2022. During the three-year period, cycles of the 10-week program were offered free of charge.
“Simpact has provided a gateway to employment for women who have lost their jobs, women re-entering or re-entering the workforce, and newcomer women in need of Canadian experience,” said Bethany Obermayer, CEO of Job Skills. “Through this model, participants were able to practice their workplace skills in a supportive environment while developing the skills, knowledge and long-term capabilities to enter and remain in the labor market. The administrative, IT and customer service skills mastered at Simpact were essential for many of the positions available due to the pandemic.
Participants were placed in a simulated work environment where they learned skills such as bookkeeping, general office work, data entry, and more. The program also offered job search support, such as connections to employers and mentorship opportunities through Seneca College.
One of these women was Simerjeet Sekhon. She worked at the same company for over 20 years and didn’t know what to do when the company suddenly closed.
So she turned to Simpact. After completing the program, she is now working in a new position as a receptionist in a doctor’s office.
“Simpact is a great place to build skills and experience that will be beneficial in the long run,” she said. “Simpact does a great job of providing experience and skills in the Canadian work culture, which helps develop a level of professionalism and hard work. »
The Simpact program went live when COVID-19 hit. However, it still had an 85% placement rate.