At least four people will get work experience helping the Vernon area improve its food security, thanks to more than $50,000 in provincial Job Creation Partnership funding that is benefitting two separate community organizations.
Kindale Developmental Association will receive $40,429 to support four local food security programs. Participants will manage volunteers at Patchwork Farms at Okanagan College-Vernon, develop a farm-gate market at the college with stalls selling fresh produce, and co-ordinate a gleaning program, as well as compile job descriptions and operational documentation for Community Kitchens and Good Food Box programs. The 30-week project is scheduled to wrap up in late November.
Last year, Kindale received nearly $28,000 to develop a community volunteer gardening program at Patchwork Farms for a two-year total of more than $68,000.
The Downtown Vernon Association is receiving more than $10,000 that will give two more people work experience to produce an operations manual for Avenue Market, the association’s weekly downtown community market. Participants will develop an outreach plan for the market to work with and co-ordinate with local food security initiatives. The participants will also conduct an asset inventory of downtown Vernon to identify opportunities to improve the market and encourage visitors to shop downtown. This 32-week project is scheduled to wrap-up in late January 2016.
These projects are funded through the Community and Employer Partnerships program, which was introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.
Government is taking action to address the rapidly changing labour market. One year ago, government created the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint to ensure more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs in B.C.'s diverse, strong and growing economy.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, more than 800 job seekers have benefited from work experience and nearly 180 projects have been funded throughout the province.
Michelle Stilwell, Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation –
“Food security and access to healthy food is so important to maintain good health. These Community and Employer Partnership projects will benefit the community and provide people with valuable work experience so they can go on to productive, full-time work.”
Eric Foster, MLA for Vernon-Monashee –
“Establishing community gardening, community markets and boosting food security is so important to communities, including Vernon-Monashee, which is a significant part of B.C.’s bread basket. When we make food more secure, everybody benefits. These two new Job Creation Partnerships in Vernon help do that.”
B (Benita) Elliott, executive director, Kindale Developmental Association –
“Food security is extremely important to the individuals and families we serve, to our employees, and to the wider community. This is why Kindale is assisting the Food Action Society of the North Okanagan to sustain the operations of Community Gardens, Gleaning, Community Kitchens, and the Good Food Box. We could not do this without the funding from the Job Creation Partnership program. We are grateful that the Province of British Columbia recognizes the value of community food security programs and have allowed us to provide work experience to two well-qualified participants to do this important job.”
Lara Konkin, executive director, Downtown Vernon Association –
“Over the past 10 or so years there has been a growing trend toward supporting local, organic harvests as well as promoting food security. In essence, the local food movement has gone from fad to force. The North Okanagan region is a prime area for this market growth and trend making the Downtown Avenue Market relevant and accessible to a diverse population within the City of Vernon. This Job Creation Partnership with the Government of B.C. will help give people great work experience, while benefitting the community and increasing food security.”
Buffy Rivard, Kindale project participant –
“This Job Creation Partnership has been an amazing opportunity! I am learning a lot, having new experiences, and developing new skills. I am building relationships with business organizations which I have never before had the opportunity to do. The food security projects are so satisfying as I am helping to bridge the gap between available food sources and those in the community who need local foods. We are making a difference.”
- Food security exists when all people have sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life. Healthy food needs to be available and accessible so people can make healthy food choices.
- Gleaning is the collection of surplus food crops from commercial growers and market gardens so food doesn’t go to waste. The harvest, collected by volunteer pickers, is then shared three ways between the pickers, the donor, and charitable organizations.
- In 2015-16, the ministry has committed to investing $331 million in employment and labour market programs under the Employment Program of BC.
- The Employment Program of BC is funded by the Province of British Columbia as well as the Government of Canada through the Labour Market Development Agreement.
- Funding supports 84 WorkBC Employment Services Centres throughout the province and the four components of the Community and Employer Partnerships fund:
- Job Creation Partnerships
- Labour Market Partnerships
- Project-Based Labour Market Training
- Research and Innovation
Who is eligible?
- Crown corporations
- Non-profit organizations
- Municipalities, agencies or territorial governments
- Bands/tribal councils
- Public health and educational institutions
For more information on Community and Employer Partnerships: www.workbc.ca/CEP
For more information on the Kindale Developmental Association: www.kindale.net
For more information on the Downtown Vernon Association: downtownvernon.com
Find a local WorkBC Employment Services Centre: www.workbccentres.ca
Learn more about the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation: www.gov.bc.ca/sdsi
For more information on B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint: www.workbc.ca/skills
To find out more about the BC Jobs Plan: www.engage.gov.bc.ca/bcjobsplan/