WorkBC employment SErvices Partnership bridges gaps for victims of violence

New options are coming available for women who have been victimized.

Battered women may have been forced to pay the price during a brief hiatus when victim services in Greater Trail did not exist, but a local partnership could change that.

The Trail Family and Individual Resource Centre Society (FAIR) and the Skills Centre have partnered under the new WorkBC Employment Services contract to create a program to bridge services for women who have been victimized.

The new program will aid women in the community who have probably been working with either the WINS Transition House or Second Stage Housing programs who feel ready to work through the hurdles of gaining employment.

“We are targeting the program to 10 individuals in the first year,” said Carol Corbett, employment and human resources services coordinator at the Skills Centre.

“For those participants who feel ready, there will be a work experience component at the end.  We anticipate the entire program will take six to eight months to complete on a part-time basis.”

According to Corbett, similar bridging programs exist for women throughout the province, but despite “two previous cohorts” in Trail, it has been years since previous programs were being used.

She said previous programs were only used as “one-time contracts” that were full-time with an “intensive” model.

“The project that we will deliver is somewhat modified from original programs which were operated on more of a full time basis,” said Corbett. “We have not officially started yet as we are in the process of working with FAIR to identify the participants. But, we anticipate the women will leave the program with improved employability skills, possibly certificate training as required and work experience.  And when the program is completed, they will be able to receive on-going employment related supports.”

She stressed that it’s an employment program, not a women’s resource centre. The staff will teach participants a series of “how to…” skills, as well as personal planning, goal setting, building self-esteem and overcoming abuse tactics.

It will deliver employment related components such as career assessments, job search skills and resume writing.