Shhh it’s a secret…

There’s a wonderful facility in Barrie that a few people know about but thousands more could use, if only they knew…

It’s located at 48 Owen St and in days gone by, it was referred to as the Manpower Office. The sign outside now says Human Resources Development Canada. But, it’s what’s happening inside that’s truly cutting edge.

During the past few years, the federal government has divested itself of many staff and many of the unemployment services that it used to provide. No longer do people get their separation slips and line up at the “UI Office” to wait for an appointment with a counsellor. It’s moved to the tailored, self serve, privatized services and they’re upbeat, exciting, current, and openly available.

And not just to people who are unemployed. Even if you were unemployed three years ago, you’re welcome in these doors. If you’ve been at home taking care of kids and had some kind of parental leave in the last five years, you’re welcome in these doors.

The Resource Centre, for instance, is run by a partnership of people working in the employment field, and capably led by an organization called Northern Lights. When you enter off Worsley Street and what awaits you are friendly staff with their fingertips on all the resources you need to figure out what to do next.

There are information sessions where you’re offered a menu of opportunities… courses, workshops, career planning sessions, interest and ability testing, computer time, internet time, resume help, job listings, and links to programs like Targetted Wage Subsidy (where somebody hires you and gets help with your paycheque while you learn the ropes) and Self Employment Assistance (where you can look at starting your own business with a regular paycheque to help you get started).

There are Job Finding Clubs, and specialized intensive training that you can apply for as you develop your career path. Counsellors are there to book appointments and help you figure out what you want to do next.

Getting you, the person and your skills into the right job is the goal at the Resource Centre, and it’s been the wisdom of Human Resources Development Canada to open the doors, the change the way that things have always been done, and to help people take their own futures into their own hands.

Whether you enter the main doors off Owen Street, or the Resource Centre doors off Worsley Street, you’ll find you’re welcome, you’re wanted.

There is life after unemployment!