Valemount Learning Centre: contributor to community success

Dianne St. Jean
Valemount Learning Centre: contributor to community success

Whether you are looking for a job or need training to get one, thinking of starting a business or already have employees, wanting some youth activities – whatever you need to succeed you will find the tools at the Valemount Learning Centre (VLC).
VLC provides a wide array of services, from WorkBC Employment services, to education and learning, even language support, and youth programs.

VLC provides employment services that go beyond just job postings. This includes advice and coaching for those looking for new employment or transitioning back to the work force. They help with job searching, retraining, prepping or tweaking your resume, and if you want, they will help you recognize strengths or weaknesses that affect job potential or readiness.
These services however are not restricted to helping job hunters or employees, but employers as well.
They can give you guidelines in setting up your business, and provide access to government programs that give small or new business owners a boost.
One such program is Get Youth Working, which provided local business owner Melanie Chitty with a boost when she began her business Unique Boutique Salon and Spa a few years ago. Get Youth Working is a wage-subsidy program that pays up to 50% of wages for a new employee who meets the qualifications. Chitty says it helped relieve the stress of launching a new business, especially at a point where you would otherwise be stretched thin for staff because of expenses.
“It’s a great way to allow somebody to employ local people who need work,” she says.
It also allows for training those people who are seeking employment, so both business owner and worker benefit.

Education and learning
VLC also provides a range of courses or access to them including online courses and invigilation services. So, for example, if you are taking a college online or distance-learning course and need to write an exam, they can arrange to have you write at the centre. VCL also supports new community members that need to learn or improve English language skills through their ESL and Literacy programs. In that way they serve as a bridge for new residents and those who want to integrate well into the local work force.

Youth Programs
VCL has an active youth program (V-Crew Youth Program) overseen by Youth Program Coordinators. That includes a place for youth to meet on a regular basis.

Key position changes
When you come into the VLC you will notice a few changes in staff. That is because there has been a recent shift of positions.
It began with two positions being vacated: EP (Employment Program) BC Program Manager Carol Bullock, who is relocating out of province, and Jolene Plett as bookkeeper. With those positions needing to be filled, the “musical chairs” of staff shifting began.
Mike Johnson, formerly Employment Advisor, is taking on Carol’s post as EPBC Program Manager, and Katerina Tinsley is taking on Jolene’s position.
To fill the voids they leave behind, Darcie Wikstrom (formerly Client Support) will be the new Case Manager/Employment Advisor, and Sandy Salt, who began with the centre in September, is in Administrative Services. You will now see Sandy at front desk reception, and she is also Program Coordinator for Courses. So, if you have any course ideas, contact Sandy.
In addition, VLC has added on Gail Burbidge as part-time Youth Administration Assistant to Youth Program Coordinator Daren Sparks.

The changeovers in all these positions reflect a lot of activity that spills over into the community.
Success in a community doesn’t “just happen,” it takes determined effort and support, and that’s what the Valemount Learning Centre provides.