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  • 30 September 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    S.U.C.C.E.S.S. CEO and ASPECT member, 
    Queen Choo delivered the closing keynote
    at the Board Voice Conference on September 24, 2022.


    Last Friday and Saturday, I attended the Board Voice Conference, where board members and executive staff of social care non-profit organizations came together to talk and learn. Kudos to Board Voice Executive Director Jody Paterson for excellently pulling together some fascinating sessions. Two topics repeatedly emerged during the two days: reconciliation in social services and the new trust-based Recovery and Resiliency Fund.

     

    The discussions around Truth and Reconciliations centred on how we, as the social care sector, remove barriers to Indigenous clients. How can we help to acknowledge generational trauma? And what can we do in our organizations right now?

     

    Of course, there were no easy answers, but the biggest thing I learned then and have been learning in the cultural safety course was to slow down and listen. Learn about the Indian Act and the history of colonial structures that have hurt Indigenous communities and which systems still do. Finally, understand that each Indigenous community has its own culture and practices. Although some share traditions, assuming homogeneous perspectives is short-sighted. 

     

    The Recovery and Resiliency Fund is a new social service funding approach with all government Ministries watching. At the conference, I heard from politicians and deputy minister panellists that this funding is innovative because it brings together a collaboration of funders, removes competition amongst service providers, and is trust-based. The provincial government, Vancouver Foundation, United Way BC, and the New Relationship Trust are offering $34 million to fund multi-year projects. Every applicant who qualifies for the fund will have their proposal placed into a pool from which successful proposals will be drawn. Once awarded, the funded organization is trusted to use the money as they see fit to support the project. 

     

    The close date is October 5, and has limited eligibility. I am hopeful that this funding style will be a resounding success so that we may see the future.

     

    After two days at the Board Voice conference, I had a deeper understanding of the issues, and I was inspired and hopeful. It is exactly the feeling I hope those attending the ASPECT conference have. At the request of several groups who were having difficulty organizing payment and hotel rooms, we have extended the early bird rate to Wednesday, October 5, at 11:59 pm. Unfortunately, the conference hotel is fully booked, but there are other options on our website that are walkable or a short taxi ride away.


    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC
     


  • 16 September 2022 11:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Last June, ASPECT and the BC Career Development Association hosted a CERIC roundtable to discuss employer engagement and how to demonstrate the value of career development professionals (CDPs). We had an excellent turnout from the sector. Thank you to Cyrielle Filias, Alexandra Manoliu, and others from the CERIC team for taking on the enormous task of compiling our notes and comments into the Virtual Community Roundtable Summary.

    But the project doesn't stop there! Coming soon is a document you can use in your employer outreach called 10 Ways Employers Can Partner with Career Services. It's in the editing phase and should be available in the coming weeks.

    Thank you to everyone who participated in this endeavour. We could not have done it without you!

    Click image below to see full document.

     

  • 09 September 2022 2:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    One of the reasons ASPECT exists is to inform government programs and policy development on your behalf. Yesterday, I had that opportunity with 28 colleagues from across Canada to do just that. Also with me on the call were ASPECT members David Lee of MOSAIC and Ken Newell of Kopar Administration Ltd. The discussion topic was the Canada Training Benefit (CTB) redesign. 



    Image source: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/docs/themes/good-jobs-de-bons-emplois-en.html

    The discussion paper, sent to stakeholders in advance, outlines the government's work to date and the research and consultations used for the discussion. For policy wonks like me, I did a deep dive into the previous work, and it was fascinating! Our government hosts genuinely wanted to know our thoughts, with consultation leader and former ASPECT Summit speaker Rhonda Fernandes, Director General, Youth and Skills Innovation Directorate, at the helm. 

    Here are links to documents referenced in the discussion paper:
    Our discussion questions touched on current supports, client barriers to participating in the program, information the client needs to make decisions, and what gaps should to be addressed. You can rest assured that BC's interests and the interests of employment service providers were well-represented at the discussion table.

    David Lee, spoke of the WorkBC supports, Ken Newell, voiced concerns about challenges for rural and remote clients to access training and connectivity, and I focused on the need publicly-funded mid-career employment services, and changing the payment model from tax credits to upfront grants. Everyone suggested that the CTB should increase from $250 per year to at least $1000 per year. We also suggested that government use the existing network of career development professionals to help clients navigate future careers before committing to training opportunities, as community-based providers have more expertise than a wholly online tool and a better view of the local labour market landscape. 

    The session facilitator advised us that employer stakeholders already had their consultation session, and some of what we were saying was the same as what the employer group was saying. 

    Our government colleagues are policy and program development experts. ASPECT's job is to provide practical experience by providing context with the client's needs as the focus. When we get invited to consult, we endeavour to do our homework in advance and come prepared with insight and solutions whenever possible. It will be interesting to see how much of our feedback makes it into the new CTB or if the CTB continues.

    If you are reading this and your organization is not a member, please consider joining us to support the work we do on your behalf. 

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC


  • 26 August 2022 12:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We are slowly moving forward in confirming our Conference program. Although we may not have all the information available right now, I can tell you that we have confirmed our opening keynote speaker, Victoria Maxwell. 

    About Victoria from her website:

    Victoria Maxwell, BFA, BPP, is a sought-after international (and funny) keynote speaker, performing artist and workshop leader. She uses her personal recovery story from mental illness to increase awareness, transform negative beliefs and ignite powerful conversations about mental health. 

    Blending 30 years as an actor and 15 as a wellness warrior, Victoria inspires people to take immediate action to improve their well-being. 


    We have selected the presenters and are setting the program. You may know that presenter applications were completed using Survey Monkey. As I was organizing the data we collected, I noticed something that might interest you: a graphic representation of who would most benefit from the ASPECT Conference. If you are trying to decide whether you should attend the conference or whom from your team you should bring with you, take a look at the following to show you who will most benefit from the programming.



    We are not recording the sessions, so if you are not there, you will miss out on some excellent and relevant learning. The in-person event's networking and partnership development opportunities cannot be underestimated either. 

    In-person conferences are expensive to produce, especially during this post-ish pandemic time. Hotel services are more expensive than ever. Please consider sponsoring our event to raise your organization's profile, attract new staff, and provide ASPECT with the funds needed to continue our work. Click here to find out how you can sponsor the ASPECT Conference.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC

    Update on last week's question, "What are your plans for Disability Employment Awareness Month?" Unfortunately, I did not receive any responses to share.


  • 19 August 2022 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)



    ASPECT members are already thinking ahead to September and planning their events and services for disability employment awareness month in BC. At our last ASPECT member meeting, the question was asked, "what are you doing for disability month?"  I think that is a good question for Aspectives too.

    Please take a moment to fill out our online form to share what your organization is planning, and I will share the information I receive in next week's Aspectives. Either follow the link or use the QR code for the online form.

    With the current labour market, employers are struggling to fill positions. It is a perfect time for employment service providers to show employers how they can meet their needs. 

    At ASPECT, we have two webinars coming up next month:
     

         New Tool to Help Employers Gauge Disability Inclusion
         September 14, 2022 at 10:00 - 11:00 am

         Introduction to the Inclusive Employers Hiring HUB
         Webinar Date to be Confirmed


    I wanted to acknowledge Nate Toevs and his colleagues at the Neil Squire Society. They hold the WorkBC Assisted Technology Services contract. Nate will be a very busy guy during the month and has made himself available for several events across the province. If you haven't already seen it, here's the link to his latest newsletter and the WorkBC ATS website

    I look forward to hearing what you have planned.

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC


  • 05 August 2022 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    This week I touched base with one of my colleagues at the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training to get an update. I urge you to register on the new BC Bid portal now to be ready for opportunities coming this fall.

    The new BC Bid platform replaces the old one on August 31. There will be orientation workshops this fall, but again, register now to avoid the deadline rush.

    Yesterday, I updated ASPECT's BC Bid registration and here's what I learned:

    1. If everything works as it should, the process is relatively easy, but in my case, it didn't work as it should.
    2. You will be required to sign in using your BCeID; however, you must use your business BCeID (as a supplier) and not your Basic BCeID. ASPECT is a non-profit and a supplier, so we have two.
    3. If you use the wrong BCeID, you will automatically become a "purchaser" and not a "supplier," which cannot be changed by BCBid. Try to correct this on your own, and you can get locked out.
    4. The tech support people at BCeID and BCBid are excellent but not the same people.
    5. If I had read the instructions, I would have saved myself a lot of time and headache.

    The process that I thought would take a maximum of 30-minutes took much longer as I needed to step away occasionally to deal with my frustration and password resets. Once the transition is complete, the new BCBid portal has its advantages.

    • The supplier dashboard lets me update information quickly and easily.
    • The notification of opportunities is an email that directs you to the dashboard. The dashboard shows all the opportunities available at a glance.

    There are probably many more advantages to the new portal, but when I tried to log in to get a screenshot for this post, I accidentally got locked out because I logged into BCeID incorrectly again. Perhaps I need to step away again for another coffee...

    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT BC

     


  • 22 July 2022 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)




    Meeting at Granville Island in Vancouver. (L-R) Lubica Keighley, BC Career Development Association; Teresa Francis, Connie Corse, and Lindsay Guitard, Nova Scotia Career Development Association; and me in front in blue.


    I have discussed the possibility of a national CDP program in Aspectives, so this shouldn't surprise our readers. I'm writing today from Vancouver, where I met with Lindsay Guitard, Teresa Francis, and Connie Corse of the Nova Scotia Career Development Association (NSCA). We discussed national career development certification and the possibility of NSCDA expanding their online credentialling to include the rest of Canada. 


    My first question is why they came all this way for two meetings, mine and one with Lubica Keighley of the BC Career Development Association. The depth of our conversation answered my question right away. Not only did we discuss the impact of national certification on the profession but the challenges that are part of the bigger picture. The interesting thing is even though we are 5,800 km away from each other, we shared the following:

     

    1. Recruitment and retention of qualified CDPs (not necessarily credentialed). 
    2. The high level of training and experience to do the job and the sometimes low pay associated with it.
    3. The greater need for advocacy to government, funders, and the public at large regarding the economic benefits of career development, especially when it comes to employer sector councils and employers in general.


    We also talked about the possible funding for the Career Development Institute led by the Canadian Career Development Foundation and how critically it is needed right now. You might remember in May, ASPECT co-hosted a consultation session with the BC Career Development Association to discuss the feasibility. Hopefully, we will know more about the funding for the Institute this fall. If the funder -- Future Skills Centre -- is reading this, please consider the overwhelming need and that the CCDF is perfectly positioned to move forward, especially with the sector (see graphic at left from the community of practice portal. ASPECT will do everything we can to ensure that the work of the Career Development Institute will be successful. 


    After my meeting with Lindsay, Teresa, and Connie, Lubica Keighley from the BCCDA joined our meeting, and we talked about how our organizations could further collaborate, possibly in a more formal way. 


    Rest assured, we are all resolved to help those seeking meaningful work who are at the centre of what we do by ensuring a sustainable infrastructure to support their needs.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO


    Correction from last week's Aspectives: The cultural safety training offered by the Federation of Community Social Services of BC is not part of the $8.4M earlier this month. 

  • 15 July 2022 12:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    I have more excellent resources to share with you again this week.

    Last Friday, there was a funding announcement of $8.5 million to "advance reconciliation in the BC community social services sector." This money will go toward several projects, but one I want to draw your attention to is cultural safety training. I know that many of you in the sector have already taken it, but if you have new staff or others like me who have not done the course, you can access it through the Federation of Community of Social Services of BC (FCSSBC). I am delighted at this offering because at our last Social Services Sector Roundtable Reference Group meeting in Richmond, BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres executive director, Leslie Varley, talked about the early days of the cultural safety training program and the difficulty of getting it into a single health authority. Listening to her persistence and dedication throughout her career was truly inspiring. 

    I was also re-acquainted this week with a resource from the Conference Board of Canada and the Future Skills Centre. They have released two seasons of podcasts that you might want to listen to. I am impressed with the timely topics, and the 20-minute format makes them perfect for your lunch-time walk. The screenshot below shows just a small part of the offerings.



    Finally, I want to remind you that the BC Prior Learning Action Network, of which ASPECT is involved, has released some of their own podcasts with topics such as the early PLAR work, how PLAR is done at various organizations and an update from the 4th Validation of Prior Learning Biennale international conference held in Iceland in May of this year. 

    It feels impossible to keep up-to-date on everything but these resources might be helpful and relevant to you. Have sector resources to share? Please send me an email and let me know about them.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO

  • 08 July 2022 11:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I've been away for a while, and coming back to catch up on email has shown a ton going on in the sector. I wanted to draw your attention to the following:

    Surveys

    We are promoting 3 surveys this week; all close very soon and are directly related to your work. I understand that many of us are survey-weary, but please take a moment to respond as the result will impact your work and, in some cases, the funding and resources available to our sector. 

    Disability Inclusive Employer Self-Assessment

    With the labour market as it is, now is the perfect time for all to focus on our diversity inclusion goals to help fill some empty positions. Open Door Group (ASPECT member) and the Presidents Group have created a self-assessment tool for employers to help them reach their diversity inclusion goals. The self-assessment takes about 15 minutes to complete and covers leading practices in a dozen categories, including Mental Health, Disability Representation, Employee Benefits, Recruitment and Digital Accessibility.

    I am so impressed with this tool that ASPECT will host a webinar on September 14 to walk through the assessment tool, learn how to use it for your organization, and help your employers recognize an underrepresented workforce. Register now for the webinar.

    Imagine Canada Tools & Resources

    Another ASPECT member, Imagine Canada, has released some really helpful tools for the sector. If you are developing HR policies and don't want to start from scratch, they have helped develop starter templates for everything you need. It's a good way to identify gaps you might have in your existing policies.

    Also, I love a good organization template; this grant management application template is fabulous. Download it into your own google drive and start customizing it. This template will help you fill gaps in tracking your annual procurement plans as it functions both as a project management and team communication tool.

    Janet Morris-Reade
    CEO

  • 10 June 2022 11:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)




    For the last 2.5 days, I was in Richmond with the ASPECT board of directors discussing the association's strategic plan and the present and future employment programs in BC. We discussed at length issues of JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) and ways that we can advocate to remove barriers for all to access employment services. 

    At the heart of all these discussions are the clients our members serve, which is the driving force we also have in common with our sector funders. Our meeting notes are in the process of being put together, and once ready, we will share them with you all. In the meantime, I wanted to use this opportunity to remind you of our vision and mission, which is at the centre of everything we do and especially evident at our meetings.


    Vision

    The Vision of ASPECT is that all people have access to quality community-based workforce development services that support their opportunity to achieve a meaningful and sustainable livelihood.


    Mission

    ASPECT provides leadership, education, advocacy and public awareness in support of its members who provide community-based workforce development services.


    I think you can all be proud of the ASPECT volunteer board of directors for their work over the past few days. They came prepared to work and stayed engaged throughout. They didn't retreat from difficult discussions, made space for everyone's opinions, and brought innovative ideas to the table. Thanks also to John Kay at Realize Strategies for helping us through the process. Yes, we are all exhausted, and it may take a couple of days for me to recover, but I am happy to say it's a good tired and not a bad tired. 


    Janet Morris-Reade, CEO
    ASPECT



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