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The Community Adult Learning Centre in Lillooet, B.C., recently partnered with Okanagan College to offer the Introduction to Office Administration training program, a fast-track program designed to build essential office skills necessary to job readiness in the field.
Community consultation and local job vacancies highlighted a need for office administration. Yvonne LaRochelle, manager for the Community Adult Learning Centre, set out to close the gap between those in need of work and the office administration jobs available in her community.
LaRochelle has collaborated with Okanagan College in the past and was able to create a program that met community needs.
Between September and December, 12 unemployed and underemployed members from Lillooet and the surrounding area completed a comprehensive program offering certificates in Computer Basics for Business and Basic Accounting as well as leadership skills training, math, essential skills and Sage 50, to name a few.
Melissa Roque completed the program in December. A Lillooet resident and former home-care coordinator, Roque experienced a workplace injury and needed training in a field that would be less physically taxing.
“The training offered me a newfound sense of confidence,” says Roque. Moving forward into her job search, Roque feels more competent with computer programs, accounting and communication strategies. “These skills compliment the ones I’ve developed over a dedicated career in home-care work and motivate me move beyond my injury.”
Roque had been taking courses through the Community Adult Learning Centre with the goal of obtaining her Adult Dogwood Diploma. This program was an opportunity to further challenge herself academically as well as open doors to future employment.
Since graduating, Roque has had several work opportunities and is excited about joining a new workplace. She plans to complete her Adult Dogwood Diploma and to contribute meaningfully to the community. She is especially grateful to her instructors for their genuine investment in the group’s success.
To celebrate the group’s achievement a graduation ceremony was held at the Community Centre at T’it’q’et on Dec. 20. The event featured guest speakers, drumming and a catered lunch. Students were invited to decorate their own tables and share in the celebration with their families.
The program included St’at’imc cultural workshops featuring traditional First Nations teachers, strategy workshops on success and conflict management, and other essential skills tutorials.
The Lillooet Tribal Council – Community Adult Learning centre received funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education’s Community Workforce Response Grant. The initiative supports skills training required to address both workforce challenges and emerging work opportunities.
Free tuition, books and supplies were included in the program. In addition, snacks and travel costs were covered. Learning resources and curriculum were provided by Okanagan College. The Community Adult Learning Centre provided onsite support throughout the program.
More information about the College’s Introduction to Office Administration training can be found at okanagan.bc.ca/cs.