Partners for Job: A community approach to reduce unemployment and underemployment
Bonnie Johnson and Suzanne Gagnon
The presentation will outline how the initiative “Partners for Jobs” fits within the City of Ottawa’s agenda and will identify the major components for making this initiative a success. The presentation will highlight some of the measurements used, confirming the results of an improved quality of life for the unemployed in our community. A presentation, posters and results will be shared with the participants.
Partners for Job is the City of Ottawa’s employment strategy to help unemployed and underemployed people, most of whom are on Ontario Works, develop an employment plan that leads to finding and keeping a job.
Partners for Jobs reflects the collaboration between the community and the City of Ottawa. Many of the non-paid and paid employment placement activities that make up the Partners for Jobs strategy are offered in partnership with community agencies, training and education providers, private companies and not-for-profit organizations.
Partners for Jobs is integral to the Human Services Plan for the City of Ottawa and is also linked to the Economic Plan and the Talent Plan. These Plans complement the Official Plan to form the Blueprint for Ottawa’s future growth. This initiative promotes social inclusion and is part of the urban agenda.
Participants will leave the session with an understanding of:
- how a City can ensure that reducing unemployment and underemployment is acted upon, and
- how the community and the city can work together to bring about some concrete results.
Bonnie Johnson, Manager Workforce Development, Innovation, Development and Partnerships Branch, People Services, City of Ottawa
Bonnie holds a Masters in Social Work from Carleton University and a Bachelor of Education from Queen’s University. Bonnie has spent her Social Work career in Social Welfare initiatives and programmes, both Community based and municipally governed. She has a special interest in customized training and education as key to fundamental change for the underemployed and the unemployed in our communities. Her current programme, Workforce Development, involves both local employers and trainers in partnerships that result in a high level of sustained employment for Ontario Works participants.
Suzanne Gagnon, Employment and Community Relations Manager, Employment and Financial Assistance Branch, People Services, City of Ottawa
Suzanne has over 12 years of experience managing social service programs. She holds a Master in Public Administration for Carleton University and Bachelor of Social Sciences in Recreology. She believes in community development and partnerships to improve the quality of life of individuals and their immediate community. She is very active at the grass roots level of community development with organizations such as the Terra Firma Co-housing project and École La rose des sables, a public school inspired by the Waldorf approach.
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