NIEFS has introduced a “Resource Worker Job Club” to help those affected by either the resource sector local layoffs and cuts – like those about to happen at Quinsam Coal (pictured) – or the downturn in Alberta oil and gas.

NIEFS tailors program for laid-off resource workers

The North Island Employment Foundations Society (NIEFS) is responding to the recent downturn in some resource-based sectors by starting a new employment strategies program for those who have been affected by cuts or layoffs in those sectors.

The “Resource Worker Job Club,” as it’s being called, will be much like other job-search group programming offered by NIEFS, but specifically tailored for those from resource sectors.

“It will certainly be similar in some ways to other programs and workshops that we run,” says NIEFS Labour Market Manager Shannon Baikie, “in that it will contain work around career assessments, resumes, cover letters, skill assessment, interview skills and labour market information, that kind of thing, but it will be really customized to that particular group.”

That “particular group,” are resource workers who have been impacted to the mining layoffs locally, as well as those affected by the slump in Alberta oil and gas.

“Just last week we were up on-site at Quinsam (Coal) to provide information to everyone who’s being impacted by that current layoff and let them know that they can connect with services and what services we offer,” Baikie says, and this group is another way of supporting that cause.

NIEFS Executive Director Val Meany says there are particular benefits to a customized job search group like this over going it alone – or even as an individual who is making use of professional services like theirs.

“One benefit is that everyone in that room will understand what each other are going through,” Meany says. “It’s a little different than sitting in a room of a whole bunch of different people who can’t relate to what your situation is because theirs is so much different than yours.”

And then there’s the networking that can happen.

“Maybe someone will bring to the table an opportunity that maybe isn’t a fit for them, but it’s the perfect fit for somebody else in the group.”

The five-week program will begin Feb. 19 and run on Friday mornings – because the employees of Quinsam Coal, “are not working Fridays right now,” Baikie says – “making it easy for them to connect to services even before they’re laid off, officially.”

Pre-registration is required to join the group before the start date, Baikie says, so that they can devote the proper resources to the program, and those interested can contact them at 250-286-3441 to get get signed up with a case manager and start the conversation about how to join the group.