As we continue to face uncertainty with our declining economy. I saw this as a good opportunity to learn more about employment agencies and services available in my community. Helping service those individuals overcoming disabilities, or barriers, affecting their ability to gain lawful employment. In this paper I will share the information I obtained from my telephone interviews conducted with Gordon Purces the community relations – project manager of Decsa. Along with Stephen Denis office manager of Abilities.
DECSA – Distinctive Employment Counselling Services of Alberta (i)
A community based not for profit organization operating since 1977. Who works collaboratively with agencies and employers to aid clients in overcoming barriers to employment in a changing world.
Decsa offers supportive, individualized programs for people requiring skill development, job placement or on the job support. While assisting them in acquiring paid, meaningful employment.
Some of Decsa’s services include: * Employment preparation * Career counselling * Placement services to people unable to find employment through traditional means * Individualized one on one and group services for people experiencing a wide range of barriers to employment
How does Decsa work: (i)
Each client’s activities follow a case management model to ensure the appropriate coordination of benefits and services are offered. Decsa provides clients with employment preparation and support. Such support includes: * Resume writing * Interview preparation * Job leads * Training for work * Direct job placement services * Job retention support * Funding applications for education and training * Research of academic training programs or institutes * Self employment and social enterprise * Community referrals for ongoing support
Who qualifies (ii)
Unemployed Albertans in the Edmonton area subject to program criteria.
Decsa primarily focuses on 6 individual and unique programs which consist of:
Assests for Employment (ii) A program that provides support to clients in order to return back to work, after recovering from the disabling effects of short term mental illness.
Labour Force Solutions (ii)
A program that provides assessments, life management workshops, job search preparations and support, direct job placement within 3 to 6 weeks, followed by intensive employment retention and follow up services from 6-9 months.
Opportunity Plus (ii)
An employment program for women who have left an abusive relationship. Offering up to 12 months of program services – life management, essential skills literacy, career planning, research, employment preparation, job placement and retention support after placement. Transitional support can be provided to assist in building skills creating independence and program readiness prior to attending program services.
A skills training program that assists and supports women, and transgendered individuals, wishing to transition from street prostitution, to a healthier, and safer lifestyle with the goal of further training, education, or employment.
An entrepreneurial program that provides business supports for those who have a documented disability and are ready to pursue self-employment and may require access to business start up loan funds (funded by the federal government).
Assistive Technology (i)
A service available to determine the needs of an individual based on the disability and the demands of employment and or/educational needs. Involving the completion of assessments, installation and training on assistive technology, hardware, and/or software
All of Decsa’s programs currently have no waiting lists or fees. They are funded by provincial government program funds. (Please note operating budget details were unavailable due to the business manager being on an