On any given day the Community Inclusion Centre in downtown Trail is buzzing with activities.
Whether it’s shoppers visiting the storefront called Made By Hand, people checking out job boards, the Beaver Valley Nitehawks challenging patrons to street hockey in the back or social groups of all ages breaking bread and shooting pool together – the well-used Bay Avenue hub certainly exemplifies that an inclusive community is a happy community.
The centre acts as a main hub for TACL (Trail Association for Community Living) programs, activities and social services for people with disabilities. So recent news the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation is granting the site $94,000 for a face lift is particularly welcome for a few reasons.
The building will be receiving much needed renovations to make it more multi-functional, such as hideaway beds and added storage for the extreme-weather shelter program and its patrons (November to March the back room is a nightly drop-in shelter).
Moreso, the 29-week project will employ three workers and teach them on-the-job skills such as cabinetry installation, so they can take that experience to the job market and increase employability.
“We are excited to have the Job Creation Partnership project up and running as it is a huge benefit to not only our organization but the three participants that are building their skills and self confidence completing the renovations,” says Sheila Adcock, TACL’s employment services manager.
“The renovations that are being completed are at our Community Inclusion Centre where we offer a lot of programs geared at building skills and peer networks as well as the La Nina Extreme Weather Shelter.”
The participants are working under the direction of a Red Seal carpenter to hang fire-rated drywall in the basement area, move an existing bathroom to accommodate a new exit staircase and build and install Murphy beds for the shelter.
Once those renovations are complete, the job will move down the street to the Thrifty Treasures thrift store. Workers will construct consistent shelving to display items for sale, build a new change room, remove the carpeting and install a new floor.
“Having all the renovations noted above will increase our capacity to offer new programs and on site training options as well as it has been a great opportunity for the program participants to build their skills,” Adcock said. “They are all really happy for the opportunity and motivated to learn as much as they can in order to increase their ability to move into employment options once the project is completed.”
Funding for the projects is provided through the Job Creation Partnerships stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships program.
“TACL is a progressive organization committed to providing quality services to individuals with diverse needs,” said Nancy Gurr, TACL executive director.
“The Job Creation Partnership renovation project is providing great opportunity for three individuals to build their skills and self-confidence while completing renovations that will allow us to provide even more opportunities for the individuals we serve.”
Job Creation Partnerships are part of the Employment Program of British Columbia’s Community and Employer Partnerships, which fund projects that increase employability and share labour market information.
Community and Employer Partnerships are featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provide more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 1,400 job seekers benefited from work experience and more than 260 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Skill enhancement is one of the key ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen and grow rural communities. To further support the needs of rural communities and grow local economies, the province will be releasing a Rural Economic Development Strategy in the near future.