Executive director Patricia Wilson and employment assistant worker Kevin Ned stand at the new First Nations Employment Services location at 2904-29th Avenue in Vernon.

Executive director Patricia Wilson and employment assistant worker Kevin Ned stand at the new First Nations Employment Services location at 2904-29th Avenue in Vernon.

Employment centre moves in downtown Vernon

The First Nations Friendship Centre’s Employment Services celebrated an open house

The First Nations Friendship Centre’s Employment Services celebrated an open house Monday, since it moved to a new location.

Now located on the same strip as the centre, Employment Services can be found across the street from its previous location, at 2904 29th Ave.

“The goal is to show people that we’ve relocated (with the open house),” said employment assistance worker Kevin Ned.

“We have a lot of services which I think Vernon is unaware of,” said executive director Patricia Wilson.

Funding cuts at a provincial and federal level is the reason Employment Services had to move, she said.

“We had four buildings that we operated 33 programs out of… the board had decided to close the one location… and maximize the resources that we have.”

Even with the cuts, Employment Services has around 100 clients, said Wilson.

First Nations Employment Services helps with resume building, job searches, preparing for job interviews and more.

“We give them access to a computer, access to a phone,” said Ned.

They also have a computer lab for resume building and job hunting.

Helping individuals find a career is another important aspect for the service.

“It’s getting an idea from (the people) what their needs are,” said Ned.

“We’ll provide them with opportunities.”

Employment Services also works with Okanagan College to ensure individuals are provided with funding and resources.

First Aid Level 1 and WHIMIS are some examples that individuals can receive funding for, he said.

“It’s taking down the barrier for them to succeed.”

Appointments are not necessary.

“We have an open door policy,” said Ned.

The downsizing hasn’t affected the functionality of the centre.

“We’ve done a really good job at using our space efficiently,” said Wilson.

However, there were three councillors and now the centre has one, she said.

Employment Services is located beside the daycare centre.

The  Friendship Centre offers support for mental heath, addictions counselling, youth resources, family support, employment, child care and more.

Hours are from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information visit vernonfirstnationsfriendshipcentre.com.