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  • 31 May 2019 12:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Tim Blake has replaced Deb Hamblin at the Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria as Employment Services Manager
    that required a move from the Lower Mainland to the Island. He is one of many who started new jobs in the last few months.  

    Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to drop by the Inter-Cultural Association of Victoria to meet with Tim Blake. He is now new to Victoria and settling into a job that started April 1. He reminded me, before our meeting, that we had met at an ASPECT conference, but for the life of me I couldn't remember what he looked like. Immediately I felt like an idiot as soon as we met in person again. Of course, I know who he is but out of the regular context, it took a moment.

    It got me thinking about how much change has happened in our sector, not only from the WorkBC contracts but also from the recent retirements and replacements. Keeping track of who landed where is starting to feel like a full-time job, but an important one. In the past few months, we've lost to retirement Lynn Belsher at NEXUS Vernon, Beth Wilson at Obair Economic Society in Dawson Creek, Angela Kwok from BC Centre for Ability Association, Lynn Hughes from Northwest Training in Terrace, and Judy Crooks from Pacific Community Resources Society. All leaders in the field and in many cases being replaced by new people who are new to the employment sector (like me three years ago).  

    I use Aspectives as a means of building community and feature those who are coming, going and shifting jobs by including them in this publication. Please send me your photos and announcements so that I can include them here.  

    Like the simple act of wearing a name tag at a community picnic, sharing this information with our members and stakeholders will help build our sector community and celebrate the changes coming our way.  

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 27 May 2019 10:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    May 27, 2019

    For Immediate Release

    Summit Offers Employers Solutions to Attract, Train, & Retain Workforce

    Victoria, BC -- The first of its kind in BC and in Canada, the Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT) is hosting an Employer-Employment Expert Summit on Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the Pacific Gateway Hotel Vancouver Airport. This Summit is intended to bring employment experts and employers together to meet the workforce needs of British Columbia by connecting them with pre- and post-employment supports and training available in their communities.  Employers are invited to register at

    “ASPECT member organizations have long-been local employment experts for pre-employment training and supports,” states ASPECT CEO, Janet Morris-Reade, “but in today’s labour market employers are struggling to find the right workers and keeping them at their companies. The Summit will showcase what services are available to them to support finding workers and training them after they’re hired.”

    The agenda for the day is as follows.

    9:00-10:00             Welcome & Keynote: Preparing Canadians for the Changing Economy & Future of Work

    10:00-10:30      Networking Coffee Break

    10:30-11:30      Breakouts Panels & Workshops: Using Big Data to Meet Labour Market Conditions, Ingenious Hiring: What Big Business is Doing, Business Case for Inclusive Hires: President's Group

    11:30-12:30pm     Breakout Panels & Workshops: Future Skills Centres Projects, Modern Recruitment Strategies

    12:30-2:00             Lunch & Keynote: Chris Atchison, President of the BC Construction Association " The BC Builder's Code: Creating a Harassment-Free Work Site"

    2:00 - 3:00             Breakout Panels: The Business Case for Hiring Youth & Millennials, Immigrant Workers, Indigenous Workers

    3:00-3:30               Networking Coffee Break

    3:30-4:30               Keynote Speaker: Christian St. Cyr, Publisher of the BC & Ontario Labour Market Report and Working on the West Coast expert on the Lynda Steele Show on CNKW Radio "The New Normal: Brace for Impact"

    4:30pm                 Networking Reception

    The Association of Service Providers for Employability and Career Training (ASPECT) provides leadership, education, advocacy, and public awareness in support of community-based workforce development service providers. We work with government and stakeholders to ensure that the needs of those seeking a meaningful and sustainable livelihood are met.


    Media Contact:    

    Janet Morris-Reade 

  • 24 May 2019 11:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Christian St. Cyr of the BC Labour Market Report (BCLMR) with Shannan Laing of Douglas College chat at the BC Career Development Conference. Christian will be our keynote closing speaker at the Employer-Employment Expert Summit on June 5. His topic will be "The New Normal: Brace for Impact." See below for the BCLMR results from their recent survey. Are you being paid enough?

    I'm writing this while working at the ASPECT exhibitor booth at the BC Career Development Conference in Vancouver. It's been a fabulous opportunity to connect with career developers and others as we learn about new and innovative ways of supporting job seekers. You'll see by the poster below that we are also selling off our ASPECT Curriculum and promoting new ways to be involved with the employment sector. So many great opportunities yet so little time!  Congratulations to BCCDA Executive Director Lubica Keighery, the BCCDA Board, and planning committee for putting on the event.

    In case you missed it on our website, the schedule for the Employer-Employment Expert Summit has been released and we are delighted to announce some heavy hitters for our day. BC Construction Association President, Chris Atchison, will talk about the construction sector's response to the employment crunch by creating the "BC Building Code" to implement a culture shift in the industry to create a work environment that is more inviting to women.  

    We have a panel about the Future Skills Centres project with Director of the Project, Rhonda Fernandez, coming in from Ottawa to talk about the initiative and Patrik Mackenzie from the Immigrant Employment Council of BC to talk about the trial project that they are involved in.

    Jake Hirsch-Allen from LinkedIn in Toronto along with Greg Lockwood, Research Associate, SRDC and Chris Holling, Director, Labour Market Forecasting, Labour Market Insights, Evaluation and Outreach Branch, Workforce Innovation and Division Responsible for Skills Training, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, will talk about what is being done with big data to inform labour market programs and decisions.  

    Christian St. Cyr (pictured above) will provide us with a sometimes incendiary closing keynote telling us about how quickly the labour market is changing, what is likely for the future, and how to prepare ourselves for it. (see below for abbreviated results and link to full results from his recent Career Development Survey)

    As you have read in previous issues of Aspectives, I am really excited about the Pre-Summit and the Summit because it has never been done on a provincial level before anywhere in Canada. If successful, the model will be developed in other provinces. Registrations are underway, but we need more employers to fill out the room.  When I mentioned to a colleague yesterday that I wanted to see at least 50 employers in the room, I was told that it was an ambitious goal. Challenge accepted! 

    Click here to download an invitation that you can send to your employer contacts.
    Click here for a Summit Schedule that you can forward to your staff.
    Click here to register for the event.
    Click here to sponsor the summit.  (it comes with registration for two days for only $500). 
    Click here to be an exhibitor at the summit.  (it comes with registration for two days for only $650 -- Exhibitor booths will only be set up on Wednesday) 

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 17 May 2019 3:55 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It has struck me this week how valuable relationship-building is as I scramble to pull together the program for the upcoming Employer-Employment Expert Summit on June 5th. I've contacted a lot of people this week and have asked big favours. Thankfully, much of the groundwork in building these connections have been laid and we can expect an outstanding program, but there were certainly gaps in my relationships as well.  

    For example, take the session on Future Skills in Canada. This panel will be facilitated by Rishi Sharma, Director, Corporate Services & Intergovernmental Relations, Workforce Innovation Division & Division Responsible for Skills Training, Ministry of Advanced Education, Skills and Training.  Rishi and his colleague, Laura Colpman (pictured at right after a Labour Market Roundtable in Fort St. John in 2017), have done an excellent job in maintaining contact with me; checking in every once in a while. If I have a question or an idea I need feedback on, I know that I can set up a meeting with Rishi and Laura and I can depend on their thoughtful and wise perspective.  

    Flying in from Ottawa for the same session is Rhonda Fernandez, Director of the Future Skills Office, Employment and Social Development Canada. She is tasked with the new Future Skills Centre and I had first met her colleague, Rachel Wernick, in 2018 along with her senior staff. Then a year later, when Rhonda was assigned the Future Skills project, I attended her session at Cannexus and participated in a panel with her at the First Work Amplify conference in Toronto in April. I have a great deal of respect for the work she is doing and her collaborative approach to the work. I am delighted that she is making the time in her very busy schedule to be a part of our Summit.

    Finally, I was looking for someone who could sit on the panel who is working on one of the inaugural Future Skills projects and connected with the Immigrant Employment Council of BC's CEO, Patrick Mackenzie. Meeting with the Patrick has been on my "to do" list for quite some time, but I hadn't yet reached out. Not only did Patrick agree to be a part of the panel, but he did so immediately. We have plans to talk soon and I'm sure that we will find ways to support each organization's work.  

    The advocacy work that ASPECT does on behalf of its members is so diverse, circuitous and multi-layered that maintaining old and forging new relationships in itself is a fulltime job. Do I have a lot of work to do in this area? Most certainly! However, this week reminded me of how important establishing genuine relationships with people who have shared goals are essential to benefit the work we do and the communities we serve.  

    As I write this, I am also very much aware of the relationship I am building with you who read this Aspectives newsletter. Some of you I have had the opportunity to meet in person, some of you I interact with on social media, and many of you who are on my list of people I will endeavour to meet. Thank you for taking the time to follow along.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 10 May 2019 11:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Tuesday, June 4 - Service Provider (AKA Employment Experts) Focus


    Noon-1:30 - Plenary Session
    • Lunch with Honorable Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
    1:30-3:00 - Concurrent Breakout Sessions
    • Employer Engagement Strategies: Latest Sub-Hub Discoveries. Presented by Chris Callaghan, NIEFS, Barb Kalashnikov, WCG, Greg Lockwood, SRDC
    • Supporting Canadians to Navigate Learning and Work:  Career Development Professional Competence Consultation. Facilitated by Dr. Roberta Neault, Life Strategies, Janet Morris-Reade, ASPECT
    • Marketing Communications: Strategies for Making Connections & Reaching Your Targets. Presented by Robyn Quinn, Big Bang Communications
    3:00-3:30 - Networking Coffee Break

    3:30-5:00 - Plenary Session
    • Big Ideas: A New Way to Market Employment Services & Supports to Employers, ASPECT Presentation
  • 03 May 2019 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Registration is Open for the ASPECT Summit! It's our first time trying to bring employers and employment experts (that's you, employment service providers) together and it's also a first for BC. As you know, the first time is always a bit scary.  

    Here's what to expect:

    Day One - Tuesday, June 4, 2019, from noon to 5:00pm
    Employment Service Providers

    Starting at lunchtime, the afternoon will be filled a luncheon with special guest, Minister of Social Development & Poverty Reduction Hon. Shane Simspon as the keynote (TBC), followed by workshops on Employer Engagement Strategies, Career Development Professional Competence Consultations, and Marketing/Communications - Strategies for Reaching Your Targets. Then we'll meet at a plenary session to discuss post-employment supports and marketing outside of the current contracts. Within the afternoon there will be opportunities to network with colleagues and discuss innovative ideas.

    Day Two - Wednesday, June 5, 2019, from 8:30am to 6:30pm
    Employers & Service Providers Together

    This day will start bright and early with breakfast and a keynote speaker (TBD) and 6 panels.  After lunch, we will have 3 more panels, another plenary keynote, followed by a networking reception.

     If you have a speciality in one or more of these topics, please let me know. Each panel will have a facilitator, a service provider, an employer, and sometimes a client.
    • Using Big Data to Meet Labour Market Needs
    • Ingenious Hiring: What big business is doing?
    • Trends in Staff Attraction and Retention
    • Future Skills Centre - Projects & Opportunities
    • Best Ways to Recruit Seasonal & Temporary Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Youth & Millennial Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Immigrant Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Indigenous Workers
    • Business Case for Inclusive Hires: President’s Group
    As I write this, more information is being updated as workshop presenters and panelists are being confirmed. It's the first time that we have ever presented a gathering that focuses on employer needs and although I'm excited at the prospect, it's also a little scary. I'll be leaning on our ASPECT members and stakeholders to make this dream a reality. Register now and book your hotel room before May 10 to take advantage of the Summit rate discounts.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 26 April 2019 12:59 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Pictured: Warren Bruns of Kootenay Employment Services in Creston presents during the Inspiration Panel at the 2017 ASPECT Conference about how his organization has used technology to reduce barriers and improve outcomes.

    On Tuesday, you would have received our call for presentations for the ASPECT Conference in November. It seems strange to be doing this when the ASPECT Summit (June 4 & 5, 2019) plans are not completely set. The fall conference has been going for over 25 years, but the Employer-Employment Services Summit is new, unknown, and was created to address a growing need for employers to have access to clients and services they may not have used or considered before.  New events take time.

    Both of these ASPECT events reflect our raison d'être: they provide much-needed networking for the sector, they respond to current conditions, they provide professional development by presenting best practices and innovations, and they provide a good opportunity to inform the advocacy work we do. The other benefit that is becoming increasingly important is that these events provide an opportunity for those working in the sector to hone their presentation skills.

    If you are on the fence about whether or not to present at the ASPECT Conference or the ASPECT Summit, I encourage you to give it a try. Your remuneration is presentation experience that you can pad your CV with as well as a complimentary conference registration. We also have a very small travel budget that we can dip into to help get you there.

    For the ASPECT Summit, I will be holding a video conference call to recruit panel members on Tuesday, April 30 at noon. These are the topics we are developing:
    • Using Big Data to Meet Labour Market Needs
    • Ingenious Hiring: What big business is doing?
    • Business Case for Inclusive Hires: President’s Group
    • Trends in Staff Attraction and Retention
    • Future Skills Centre - Projects & Opportunities
    • Best Ways to Recruit Seasonal & Temporary Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Youth & Millennial Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Immigrant Workers
    • Business Case for Hiring Indigenous Workers
    • Business Case for Inclusive Hires: President’s Group
    If you have a speciality in one or more of the above topics, please let me know. The panels will have a facilitator, a service provider, an employer, and sometimes a client.  Register now for this member discussion online meeting.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 18 April 2019 12:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From left to right: Janet Morris-Reade of BC, Ashley Boha of Saskatchewan, Mark Beckles from RBC, Rhonda Fernandez of Future Skills Centre - Government of Canada.  Missing from the photo are Valerie Roy of Quebec,and Gladys Okine of Ontario.

    Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to be a part of a pan-Canadian panel with guest-of-honour Rhonda Fernandes who is tasked with leading the Future Skills Centres across Canada. As a board member and ASPECT representative on

    the Canadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability Training (CCCBET), I was asked to represent BC. Because of the changes anticipated to the Ontario funding system, I was very popular at the First Work Amplify Conference in Toronto where the panel took place.

    From what I can gather, the funding model is not currently an outcomes model, but rather an output model. This means there is core project funding with some payments for thresholds reached. How they determine the thresholds is different from the model we have here. 

    With the political shift in Ontario -- you likely have heard about new premier Doug Ford's dynamic ideas -- there is a possibility that the new framework would have employment services managed and delivered by municipal governments versus community service providers. (Some community services are already being delivered this way.) Early indicators suggest that the new model will create several large shifts in the way services are offered and compensated.

    All eyes are on the WorkBC 2.0 model and how things will turn out here.  Telling those present that BC is only two weeks into the new contract and that we likely won't have results on the new model until the fall was met with exasperation and concern.

    As a way of supporting our colleagues in Ontario and debriefing information of what we wish we had known before going into the WorkBC procurement process, I would like to invite you to provide me and the Ontario community-based service providers with your advice for them. What questions do you wish you'd asked? What partnerships did you wish you'd made? What were the unexpected SNAFUs to look out for? And most importantly, what were the positive innovations that came out of the experience?  If you would like to provide your advice anonymously, just let me know and I will remove all identifying information before I share it.  

    Ontario is watching us, and the for the future of their service providers and more importantly, the clients they serve, please take a moment to share your thoughts.  

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 12 April 2019 10:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Earlier this week I had the opportunity to get to know our new ASPECT President, Valerie Meaney, a little better and I can happily report that ASPECT's leadership is in good hands.

    Val (at left in photo) joined me in Victoria for a meeting at the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction where we heard their plans for engaging contractors delivering the new WorkBC program. Val shined as someone who is knowledgeable, approachable, and able to discuss the details -- with statistics --  associated with going through the procurement process, startup, and a deep understanding of the delivery of the program. Although the meeting turned out to be more informative than collaborative, we both appreciated the opportunity to be invited to meet.

    Valerie Meaney is Executive Director of North Islands Endowment Foundations Society (NIEFS) in Campbell River with offices in Port Hardy and a satellite in Port McNeil. She has a vast experience in the sector and an east coast sense of humour.

    She told us a story of a visit of ministry staff to Port Hardy, where Val encouraged the tour to include a visit to Carrot Park (see photo below). With humourand a dose of reality, she was able to clearly demonstrate the frustration experienced by those in rural and remote areas to have their voices heard by government. I have never seen the wooden carrot in real life, but I certainly have the lesson of Val's funny story to remind me to keep my understanding broad when I advocate on behalf of ASPECT members.

    If I'm sounding a little like a fan-girl, you can bet I was impressed with Val during my day with her and to John Dawson who was on the board of directors for eight years and lead ASPECT as President for three years, you can rest assured that the association is in good hands.

    Janet Morris-Reade
  • 28 March 2019 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This week has all been about building relationships. It’s a pet project of mine to define shared goals and work together with other groups making us all stronger and more effective in the process. I think that collaboration and mutual support will be key in serving the needs of our clients, employers, and government. If this sounds too “kumbaya” for your liking, I am guilty as charged without apology.

    Earlier this week, you received an email from both ASPECT and the BC Career Development Association.  I was speaking to their Executive Director, Lubica Keighery, and she mentioned that the BCCDA needed more sponsors for their very well attended conferencein May as it is one of the association’s significant funding streams for the year. She asked if we could promote it through a targeted email, telegraphing to members on all sides that we do in fact work together. It makes sense for ASPECT to support career development to ensure a high level of excellence amongst our community of practice.  You’ll also start to see a BCCDA section in our Aspectives newsletter and vice versa, to further develop shared communication between our two associations and our members.

    Mid-week, ASPECT organized a planning meeting to support the Contractor Solutions Team (CST) who are made up of WorkBC prime contractors. Under the last contract, CST represented all WorkBC contractors through coordinating information and communicating with the ministry; providing strategies, recommendations, and collaborating. Our Wednesday meeting was to determine if there was a still a desire to continue the CST and identify ways in which ASPECT could help. There is a small group of contractors -- all ASPECT members -- who are organizing an outreach to the 45 new/returning contractors.  If you are a prime contractor for WorkBC 2.0, you can expect to hear something from the group soon.  At that meeting, it was agreed that ASPECT would provide administrative support and advocacy support when needed.

    And today, I had a wonderful chat with Christian St. Cyr, publisher of the BC Labour Market Report (BCLMR).  He is working on a special edition of the BC Labour Market Report: Employment Services Directory.  I should tell you that I love the work that Christian is doing through his BCLMR, his Summer Labour Market Conference, his BC Labour Market Online, and his Labour Market Year-In-Review workshops. He has been a dynamic speaker at the ASPECT Conference and has now agreed to either facilitate a panel or be a panelist at the ASPECT Summit on June 4 & 5, 2018.  As a means of bringing the sector together, Christian has also offered to talk about our Summit on his weekly radio program.

    These emerging relationships are added to the long-standing formal relationships we maintain through board membership and ASPECT contributions such as BC Prior Learning Action NetworkCanadian Coalition of Community-Based Employability TrainingCanadian Council for Career Development, and more.

    In this time of transition for our sector, I remain the optimist that we are being presented with the opportunity to rally together and promote the expertise, talent, and relationships we have. If you represent a provincial or national organization in the sector and would like to investigate a reciprocal relationship with ASPECT, I invite you to reach out to me. Working together makes us all stronger!

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