Become One of Our Success Stories
Range of Education and Employment Programs to Help You
Since 1985, the Employment + Education Centre (EEC) has been helping individuals across Leeds and Grenville achieve their potential, and allowing employers to find the best match for their job positions. We are committed to helping the community thrive and measure our effectiveness in terms of your success. Read the testimonials and success stories below to see how our services have helped changed the lives of job seekers and employers across Leeds and Grenville. We can help you too!
Wendy Hennessey first came to the EEC in 2012 looking for employment but feeling that she had nothing to offer as an employee. Wendy had previously been residing at Tennant House, a residential addiction treatment/counselling facility, up until 2006. After being discharged she attended TR Leger Adult School and obtained her high school diploma, but she was not confident that she was someone who could obtain and hold a job. It was only when Wendy sat down with a coach who talked with her about her life experience and from that was able to put on paper a list of skills and abilities she hadn’t before acknowledged in herself that Wendy felt she might have something to offer after all.
She explained, “Seeing myself on paper that way was the first time I felt impressed with myself in a very long time. From that point on I felt sure that if I followed the advice and guidance of my coach that I would be successful”. Wendy continued to build skills with her coach that prepared her for interviewing and taught her the value of networking, as well as the confidence to do both. With this new resume and her new sense of capability some assistance from a Job Developer Wendy secured employment at O’Mally Kourt Fudgery. “What amazed me most about my experience with the staff at the EEC is that they did not let the broken person walk out the door. They believed in me and made me believe in myself”.
Over several years Wendy continued actively pursuing EEC services by attending resume writing workshops, signing up for computer upgrading courses, and utilizing the resource centre. In addition, volunteering in the community helped her develop and up-to-date reference list and to become engaged with the members of our community.
What started as part time employment slowly developed to full time hours and doing extra jobs here and there enabled her to feel confident moving into a management role when the opportunity arose.
After two years in a management position Wendy felt that she had more to offer her community and found herself considering starting her own business. After a meeting with the Small Business Enterprise Centre she had a list of tasks to achieve in order to bring this dream alive. Wendy again reconnected with a job coach at the EEC to assist her in polishing her networking skills and developing the confidence to approach local business owners for support and references. “My coach encourage me to look at my passions to find fulfilling work and go after it instead of just sticking me in a job and that made all the difference to me”. When the time arose, she began applying for employment with the support and continued encouragement from various EEC staff.
Through networking with a business owner he had been serving during her employment at the fudgery, Wendy was introduced to an opportunity to make soup once a week at Luxe Boutique in Prescott. This opportunity quickly led from one day a week to two, to 3, to five and provided the location and kitchen access that Wendy needed for her business idea.
She returned to the Small Business Enterprise Centre with her list of tasks checked off and was supported through registering her business. Today Wendy operates ‘Crazy Bowls’ weekdays from 11:30-2 pm and offers dinners on Thursday evenings. Her journey with the EEC has come full circle from a client with very unclear goals to a small business owner who will soon be in a position to provide employment to others! You can check out her Facebook page for more information here.
Michaela Mills: EEC Helped me believe in myself!
Michaela came to the EEC in 2012 looking for assistance with finding a job. Her sever anxiety and lack of skills made her nervous about building a resume or applying to entry level positions like fast food or retail.
Michaela was referred to the Youth Job Connection (YJC) program which seeks to build soft skills in a group setting for 4 weeks of paid pre-employment training followed by a job placement where clients can put newly learned skills to practice.
One guest speaker in particular, a local business owner, “showed me that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because he looked like an average guy in jeans and a toque but turned out to own a pretty successful business. That made me also stop judging myself so harshly and to accept that other people are always going to make assumptions about me and that I have to be okay with that in order to succeed”.
Initially Michaela was interested in trying a retail position for her placement but her job developer presented an opportunity at Little Caesar’s and, since it was the end of the 4 weeks of group “I had way more confidence in myself and my ability to do a job like that and I felt ready to push myself out of my comfort zone since Tara did that every day (but in a supportive way). I could see that they [the YJC team] were working hard for me so I felt I had to work just as hard”.
After a brief leave and then returning to Little Caesar’s, Michaela was promoted to supervisor. She now lives entirely on her own and is completely self-dependent. She attributes her success in part to the EEC and the YJC team for laying out the path for herself that she could not see.
Her advice to other young people who are where she was in the beginning of her journey: “Take part in the thing that scares you – especially if it means enrolling in group – if you do the work, it can change your life.
Eric Homiak: EEC gave my career direction!
Brockville resident, Eric Homiak, held different jobs after high school. He had worked on a line at Procter and Gamble as well as a line cook at Kelsey’s. While he enjoyed being a cook, Eric was also curious about the emerging solar industry. He took part in the second wave of the Sunnyville solar training initiative and was able to get a job as solar panel installer with iSolara before finishing the program.
Narrating his experience with EEC, he said, “I thought it might be good to get into a new industry and was interested in getting into the green aspect of the economy. The program was great. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to get into this industry.”
Matt Hodge: I wouldn’t have made it without help from EEC!
Matt Hodge, a 38-year-old Cardinal resident, was unemployed and looking for a career change in the fall of 2010. After speaking with his EEC Employment coach, he put in his application for the Sunnyville solar training initiative and was thrilled to be chosen for the program. After graduating, he was hired as a solar panel installer for iSolara and has done several installations across Eastern Ontario.
He strongly believes that EEC made this possible. He said, “I was looking for a definite change and also wanted to work outside. I thought the solar industry would be a good choice. But I couldn’t have gotten to where I am right now without EEC and can’t say enough about their programs.”
YOUTH JOB CONNECTION PROGRAM
Chris Argue: EEC helped me find a job!
Argue says, “I found the EEC Youth Job Connection program very helpful. It helped me get a job, but more than that, it helped with the way I interact with people. I recommend the program to anyone I know who might be eligible!”
Ainsleigh Byrne-McLean: It was an awesome experience!
Byrne-McLean enjoyed participating in EEC’s popular Youth Job Connection-Summer program. She says, “It was so awesome! Other people I know took part in it too.”
Nathan Mitchell: EEC made it a great summer!
Mitchell says that thanks to EEC’s Youth Job Connection-Summer program, “it’s been a good summer!”
Mary Lynn Villeneuve Aquatarium Volunteer Program Manager
The EEC’s Youth Job Connection-Summer program and the Aquatarium was a successful collaboration. It introduced several students to their first job. The students were enthusiastic about welcoming and engaging thousands of visitors from around the world. True ambassadors for our region! Looking forward to working with the program next summer.
Barry Moss: EEC finds the ideal candidates!
Moss, President of Four-o-One Electric is thrilled with EEC’s services. He says, “Over the past 10 years, the EEC has provided us with many qualified candidates who worked out so well that we hired them full-time. We have found EEC job developers to be good at matching our requirements to potential candidates. In addition, the subsidy programs provided through EEC gives us a low-risk opportunity to train candidates while determining if they are a good fit.”
Bob Pearce: I’m a big advocate of EEC!
Pearce, General Manager of Henderson Printing is more than satisfied with EEC’s services. He says, “Henderson Printing has used a variety of EEC’s services, from the Summer Jobs program to getting good candidates for regular positions to accessing funding programs to help during training of employees. I’m a big advocate of EEC!”
Find a Job or Candidate at Our Employment and Education Centre
The Employment + Education Centre (EEC) offers a full range of services to help job seekers and employers find the ideal match. Whether you are looking for employment, a career change or to build your skills, we have a variety of programs to help you further your career. Employers across Leeds and Grenville also take advantage of our hiring services, training and mentorship programs to access new employees.