Next Steps Project
Project Lead: Shannon Lee, Community Learning Alternatives
The Next Steps project will be delivered in the Bay of Quinte Region of Hastings County, a cluster of small and medium-size communities between Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. Community Learning Alternatives (CLA) provides adult upgrading in Belleville, Trenton and Madoc; also drawing learners from the surrounding rural areas. The area has experienced many large manufacturing plant closures in the past few years with more looming. Although new plants have opened, the skills needed are not always a good match with the skills of job seekers.
Workers who have been displaced often struggle to identify and describe their transferable skills, leaving a lack of confidence to move on to other employment. Next Steps will help these workers understand their current skills and how these skills make them good candidates for other employment opportunities.
With virtual delivery, Next Steps will allow CLA to support learners from across the region. In small groups, learners will explore their skills and values while building confidence in working with others. They will complete soft skills certification and develop a portfolio to illustrate their strengths. Individually, they will brush up on relevant skills and learn new ones in areas of communication, numeracy and digital literacy. Participants will increase their knowledge of community supports and understanding of labour market information for job search while learning the value of their existing and newly gained skills to potential employers.