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  • February 04, 2019 1:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Meeting in the office of the Minister of Jobs, Workforce Development and Labour, Patty Hajdu. Minister Haidu was in St. John's so we met with her (at left) Western Canada Regional Adviser, Joshua Lindner, and Policy Advisor, Douglas Wong. Also in the photo are (centre) Gladys Okine of First Work Ontario and Valerie Roy of AXTRA Quebec. We represented BC's interests through CCCBET ( Canadian Coalition of Community-Based EmployabilityTraining). 

    This past week I attended the CANNEXUS Conference in Ottawa. My trip on the behalf of ASPECT members always has several parts to it: to meet face-to-face with ASPECT members who are also attending, learn about emerging trends in the sector, to attend the Canadian Council of Career Development annual meeting, meet with my counterpart board members of CCCBET, meet with Federal Government contacts, and of course to networking, networking, networking.  As I write this I'm still unpacking everything that I heard and experienced.  

    Meeting at the Minister's Office

    We were successful in our request on behalf of CCCBET (see photo above) to meet with staff from Minister Patty Hajdu's office. The topics we covered on your behalf were:
    • Request for political intervention in shortening the time lag between the close of an RFP to the contract award. We see this as a major impediment in the government's goals to respond to workforce needs quickly as well as a significant hardship for community-based organizations.
    • We reiterated the networks we represent across Canada and in communities throughout the provinces. We also offered our ability to conduct valuable research to inform policy development and implementation.
    • We talked about the opportunity to inform government and government staff about the complex history of Public Employment Services as outlined in Dr. Donna Wood's book Federalism In Action: The Devolution of Canada's Public Employment Service 1995-2015. 
    • We talked about best practices for community consultation before new funding and policy are created and how CCCBET members and the community organizations they represent can assist with that consultation.
    It was an almost hour-long meeting and much more was discussed, but the above are our main points. For more information on what I heard and saw at CANNEXUS, please see a separate blog post with more information with links to resources.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • January 25, 2019 4:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s been busy here at ASPECT since my blog post to Aspectives last week.  In it, I mentioned that there was concern that some community benefit service organizations were on the verge of closing after being left out of the new WorkBC contract, or if they were included, would see their funding significantly reduced. In response to my post, I received calls and emails from ASPECT members, community stakeholder organizations, one call from the media, and an invitation to meet with Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, Honorable Shane Simpson. 

    In preparation for my meeting with Minister Simpson and for the follow-up meeting with his staff, I have spoken to 25 of our 98 ASPECT members to find out how they will proceed with the work they do. I’ve received copies of letters, emails, and presentations and spoken to the contract winners and losers (of course, this is speculative since the official announcement has not been made and it is illegal for the contractors to share any information with me). I’ve heard from large multi-service organizations and small specialized service organizations in all areas of the province; both private and non-profit. It is a sad time for many who work in the sector and the announcement of contractors for WorkBC 2.0 (as one member referred to it) will likely not be a good news announcement unless we have detailed information on the financial framework.   

    We still don't know what we don't know and under the rules of the procurement process, cannot take action until the official announcement.
    Thank you to everyone who provided me with information and thank you to Minister Simpson and his staff who welcomed my sometimes-uncomfortable account of what I heard.  We will continue to work toward solutions to challenges in our efforts to support the government and the public service in setting policy.

    Once the announcement is made, I will share more with you about what I heard, but until then I remain cautiously hopeful that the new contract will successfully meet the needs of those seeking services and those employers recruiting talent.
    Janet Morris-Reade
  • January 17, 2019 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It continues to be a time of transition for the employment service sector as contractors and subcontractors to the WorkBC program transition to the new contracts. No official announcement has been made as I write this, but I am interested to know how the former contractors and subcontractors are faring under the new contract environment. 

    We’ve been contacted by The Federation of Social Services of BC and Board Voice who are concerned about the effect of the new WorkBC contract awards on the ability of social service organizations to remain viable within the communities they serve. Is it really feeling like BC non-profits are under attack?

    I am always intrigued and delighted by the ingenuity of the service providers to respond to funding shifts and market needs.  As a sector, it is our competitive advantage and is something that I refer to often in my advocacy work to employer stakeholders and government. This ingenuity is not limited to our non-profit members but also our private members: both can be described as community benefit organizations.

    For the past two years, I have been a board member for 3rdVoice representing the interests of ASPECT members. We have been working to providegovernment with community-up ideas and provide a collective voice to the needs of a diverse range of provincial organizations, networks, and federations. There have been some successes, but for a variety of reasons 3rdVoice has been challenged to produce statistics and measures to clearly demonstrate the value (both economic and social) of community benefit organizations in BC. Our hope is to mirror some of the effectiveness of the Ontario Nonprofit Network (ONN).  

    ONN produced an infographic a few years ago that shows the economic impact of non-profits in Ontario, and when you look at the statistics that they have collected, its mind-blowing!  We needthat information in our province to prove to anyone who will listen that community benefit organizations and their economic and social impact is a force to be reckoned with.  

    Last week I was in Vancouver meeting with my 3rd Voice-colleagues to discuss among other topics, how we can collect compelling data in BC. We asked questions such as:  How many non-profits are there within BC? Who do we include in our data collection? What kind of data do we collect? How do we gain access to the information we need? and what other organizations should also be at the table?

    Over the coming months, our plan as 3rdVoice or as just a collective of community benefit organizations, will be to reach out to several organizations to see if we can collect the information we need. Accordingly, ASPECT will be polling its members to find out our impact on our economic and social health of the province.  As service providers, we know that policing in our communities is negative result to an underfunded community supports.  A healthy and vibrant community service environment saves tax payers’ money in the long run. We just need the numbers to prove it.

    As always, I welcome your comments at any time and would like your help collecting statistics to share with my colleagues at 3rd Voice. What statistics do you use to promote your own organization to your funders and community stakeholders? What are your measures of success? Please send me  what you have, copies of your Annual reports, or anything you can that would help us determine what success is for community services in BC. I will keep you posted on this endeavour and share what I can moving forward.

  • December 14, 2018 12:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s been a challenging week for many within the employment services sector as they are learning the fate of their own employment future. I have been reassured by several of the new WorkBC contractors that they will be reaching out to you, if they haven’t already. Being one who is uncomfortable when things are left up in the air, I empathize with your situation. There continues to be a need for career developers outside of the WorkBC contracts; check out our ever-growing list of job postings for new and exciting opportunities. It is my hope that those currently working within the sector will be able to stay here.

    Building expertise in the sector continues to be a focus for ASPECT and this week I met with Dr. Roberta Neault to discuss developing an affordable yet high-quality leadership training path for those who are already leaders and those who are looking toward leadership positions in the near future. We hope to have the details sorted by the beginning of January. 

    You may remember from our last week’s Aspectives news, we also have created a two-day RFP workshop in Vancouver providing skills to those who would like to respond to opportunities through BC Bid. Similar to what we offered last year, we are providing more time for learning the process, evaluation and RFP writing skills. Again, Liz Busch, Director, Outreach and User Experience

    Strategic Business and Procurement Transformation Branch will be facilitating the workshop. It is amazing to me how she is able to take a fairly dry topic (for me) and make it fascinating. We are delighted that she has agreed to help us out again.

    Finally, we are in the process of developing free or economical webinars for those who did not have the opportunity to attend last November’s ASPECT Conference. We are reaching out to conference presenters to see if they would like to present again in a webinar format. The feedback we received from this year’s ASPECT Conference has been the best yet! We want to ensure that everyone has access to the valuable learning available within the sector.

    Now that the contract announcements have been made, we can move forward with the advisory committee for the ASPECT Employer-Service Provider Summit which is scheduled for June 4 & 5, 2019 in Richmond. I already have a list of senior practitioners and employment service leaders, but if you are interested and have not told me already, please let me know if you would like to attend our virtual meeting.

  • December 07, 2018 1:11 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    I've just returned from Ottawa after an inspiring two days of meetings with career development practitioners and experts from across Canada. ASPECT, along with BC Career Development Association (Lubica Keighery, Executive Director in photo at right) and 33 other organizations, have been asked to be a part of a Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work National Stakeholder Committee (NSC) to help facilitate multiple stakeholder meetings within our regions. These consultations will have several different levels of engagement and will include a diverse compilation of expertise.

    Funded by Employment and Social Development Canada, the Canadian Career Development Foundation and the Canadian Council for Career Development is at the start of a 3-year project to define the scope of Career Development as a profession and the attributes that determine excellence. I'm bound by secrecy (partly joking) to say much more until we have a communications directive in the new year. I'll keep you posted.

  • November 27, 2018 3:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's been a couple of weeks now since the ASPECT Conference and I'm still feeling inspired and excited about the future of our sector.  I've chosen a few highlights that I want to share.

    Leadership Recognized

    Congratulations to Peter Bailey of Free Rein & Associates in Hope forbeing awarded the David Hutson Leadership Award, which is awarded to an individual who demonstrates exemplary leadership in the community-based training sector. Congratulations to the Open Door 
    Group for being awarded the ASPECT Organization of the Year award celebrates the contribution of one organization which has made a significant contribution to community-based trainers profile and progress in British Columbia. Tom Burnell accepted on behalf of his organization.

    Inspiring Speech by BC's Lieutenant Governor

    As you likely know, Janet Austin is the former CEO of the YMCA Vancouver and was tapped on the shoulder by the Prime Minister to become BC's Lieutenant Governor. In addition to presenting the awards, she talked about stepping into her new leadership role, adjusting to her new residence, meeting the Queen, and how she is using her position to promote her own social service agenda. During her speech I found myself thinking, "I want to be her."  I was inspired!

    We're In this Together

    At the opening of the conference, ASPECT President John Dawson, presented everyone in the room with a mocktail (instead of a cocktail because it was 8:30 in the morning) to acknowledge the challenging preceding months of what I've been calling "RFP Season." To Pitt Bull's "Celebration" and Pharell's "Happy," we all rocked out together.  See video link below

    Thank you to all the presenters, exhibitors, and sponsors for helping us present the ASPECT Conference this year.  Mark your calendars for next year: November 4 & 5, 2019 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • October 30, 2018 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Last week I had the opportunity to attend the Vancouver Island Economic Summit in Nanaimo and was delighted to run into several ASPECT members. My goal for being at the conference was to meet as many employers and employer representatives as I could to find out their needs. I'm researching how ASPECT can coordinate its members' expertise to meet employers' needs at a provincial level.

    I heard  -- almost as an unofficial reoccurring theme throughout several of the presentations and workshops -- that employers desperately need skilled workers to compete locally and globally. It struck me that I was certainly in the right place at the right time!

    ASPECT is currently developing an Employer-Service Provider Summit hosted by ASPECT in June 2019. The initial plan is to host a provincial summit in the Vancouver/Richmond with large employers and then do regional meetings with local employers in fall 2019. If you are interested in being a part of the ASPECT Summit Steering Committee, please send me a quick email
    Janet Morris-Reade

  • October 12, 2018 11:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I'm delighted to announce that one of the Pre-Conference Workshops on November 7 will feature staff from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. 

    This co-facilitated workshop hosted by the Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training and the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, will provide an overview of impacts and opportunities of the new WDA and LMDA and how they are working to better align BC labour market programming. Join us for a lively session to explore how Service Delivery Partners and Ministries can work collaboratively to achieve the best outcomes for clients.

    After an update on the BC labour market, followed by brief presentations on the LMDA and the WDA, we will then break out into tables to discuss how we can improve the referral process between WorkBC centres and AEST-funded programs.

    This pre-conference workshop is an additional $25 to the regular conference rate. If you've already registered and would like to now register for this workshop too, please email us and we can update your registration. If you haven't yet registered, please do so now!

    See the Conference website program to find out what else is in store.

  • October 12, 2018 11:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, I presented to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services. I was delighted that the speakers that preceded my presentation were also asking for, or talking about, the same issues as I was although from a different perspective.  Housing, addictions and mental health, transportation and child care are barriers to employment.  More opportunities to provide presentations, videos, and submissions to the Committeecontinue from now until Monday, October 15 at 5 pm.  

  • October 11, 2018 11:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    On Wednesday I had an exciting meeting with my friends in the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training: Rishi Sharma, Director of Corporate Services Unit, Laura Colpman, Senior Advisor, and  Bev Shuttleworth, Manager, Indigenous Relations, Workforce Innovation and Division Responsible for Skills Training. It got so exciting we even pulled out the whiteboard pen to jot down some ideas. 

    The impetus of the idea, that we independently all came to the table with, was creating an opportunity for employers and service providers to get together and share information and ideas. I'll have more information for you by the ASPECT Conference, but in the meantime, I'll be setting up an online discussion group to talk about the needs of employers in your communities and how ASPECT can better meet those needs.  Please stay tuned.

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