Bissell Centre Employment Program

The Cause

Support for Bissell Centre’s Employment & Casual Labour Services Program.

“It is not wealth one asks for, but just enough to preserve one's dignity, to work unhampered, to be generous, frank and independent.”

W. Somerset Maugham

Employment Services

Bissell Centre addresses both sides of employment related challenges: we help individuals searching for meaningful and sustainable employment, and support employers to meet their recruitment needs.

Unfortunately, this program has recently lost the main source of its funding. We are applying to the Field Law Community Fund in order to continue to offer employment supports, specifically Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), for our participants.

Participants that do not have the appropriate PPE for the job can readily lose out on work opportunities, and therefore the income they require so that basic needs can be met.

Employers especially in the construction, oil & gas sectors have become more stringent on safety elements over the past several years, and quite often these days they are checking workers for appropriate PPE as well as requisite safety trainings. Furthermore, if a participant were to attempt to work without the requisite PPE, they are at much greater odds of sustaining a minor injury that can affect their ability to work in the short term. A major injury not only affects their ability to work but also lessens their standard of living, or possibly even dying from injuries sustained.

Once employment has been secured the after-effects are both far and wide.

For many who have been out of the workforce for some time or who have experienced traumas, working again provides an opportunity to regain confidence and their own feelings of dignity. They also begin to stand a bit taller with every day worked and with every dollar earned. A steady income affects not just the individual but their families. Stability is introduced into the home and stress is reduced. This can also translate to food and housing security, improved mental and physical health, an increase of the opportunity to better one’s employment/career and the family environment becomes more solid.

Who Will it Benefit?

The individuals who benefit from Bissell Centre’s Employment Program include people who are experiencing poverty, the head of a low-income household and new Canadians that are trying to navigate their new home without the support of any family or friends.

To break it down further we can give the following statistics from the period of July 1, 2017 – June 30th, 2021.

Of people who accessed Bissell Centre’s Employment Program

32.2% were Caucasian

37.4% were Indigenous

30.3% were another ethnicity

77.9% identified as male

21.7% identified as female

0.1% identified as other

29% were between the age of 21 – 35

50.2% were between the age of 36-55

19.9% were between the age of 56+