East York, Toronto. For The Neighbourhood Centre, the New Year began with a series of workshops. The free Career and Life Skills Workshop Series runs every Saturday from January to March of 2016, and presents a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and job seekers to develop leadership, communication and life skills. Participants were also able to enrich their resumes with Certificates of Completion.
The first workshop was on Practical Leadership, which was designed to boost confidence and prepare for leadership roles in culturally diverse communities and workplaces. The following week, a workshop on Effective Communication helped to develop rapport and common understanding with people from diverse backgrounds. Creative Conflict Resolution offered practical ways to listen and respond to conflict, which are essential for positive relationships at work, home and in the community. Following that, participants will learn how to successfully explore and adapt to different organizations through Understanding Workplace Culture. An introductory workshop on The ABCs of Project Management provides an overview of how to plan and implement project effectively. Finally, Mindfulness: Here and Now will help participants to explore the practical tools of mindfulness to build resilience and access calm, quiet and focus in daily life.
The Workshop Series is tremendously well received by the diverse group of participants who ranged in age from early twenties to late fifties. Nearly 80% of the participants have been in Canada for less than 5 years, and 75% are unemployed. As one of the participants said,
“Attending these workshops has been a great experience for me. I know that I’ll be able to use what I learned in my coursework and in the real world. Since I’m a co-op student, I know employers will be glad that I’ve attended these workshops because it allows me to communicate better with other co-workers. In regards to school, I have actually used what I learned in the workshops (ex. Conflict resolution) in certain school assignments. I can’t wait to attend future workshops because I always learn something new and useful.”
The Neighbourhood Centre collaborates with community members and organizations located in East Toronto to support people to realize their potential, direct their own lives, and improve economic and social conditions in the community. We envision a thriving, economically vibrant and resilient community where people are connected to each other and have access to resources needed for health, wellness, meaningful community participation, and stable, fulfilling employment.
Hear what three of the participants, Alanna Legg, Ali Mohammad, and Gift Thompson say about their experience.