Columbia Basin, British Columbia

Columbia wetlands overview
Photo by Eternalsleeper (CC BY-SA 3.0). Image has been cropped.

Workplace Skills in the Basin and Boundary

Project Lead: Andra Louie, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL)


The Basin and Boundary regions in southeastern BC are populated with numerous small communities and have been affected by mill closures and layoffs, a significant loss of tourism and layoffs in the oil patch in Alberta as many people are remote workers who fly in and out.

The Workplace Skills in the Basin and Boundary (WSBB) project addressed the need for people who are unemployed or underemployed to upgrade their workplace and essential skills. This was offered via one-to-one support and in small groups, with in-person and virtual delivery based on initial feedback from participants and partners. There were workshops and individualized training in digital literacy, resume writing, interview skills, financial literacy and additional modules that aimed to increase a person’s work readiness.

Learners were matched with a program facilitator in the hub community of their choice and there was an intake to identify learners’ assets, goals and needs. A learner plan was created for each participant, along with a detailed plan to support the learner through in-person or virtual services.


In November and December 2021, a second phase of the Workplace Skills in the Basin and Boundary project was implemented. This adaptation helped increase participation in the beta-test project and also supported the needs of learners who emerged in the initial phase with specific workplace skills.

Three “Lunch & Learn” workshops were offered weekly to Canadian newcomers in a group format both in person and virtually with options to attend over lunch hour or in the evening. The topic areas included: working with others, Canadian employment laws and workplace communication. The workshops incorporated PowerPoint presentations, small group discussions, Q & A, and easy to understand materials.


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