KCDS' job is to help you find a job

KCDS connects job seekers with employers looking to hire

Castlegar KCDS staff

Castlegar KCDS staff — Photo courtesy KCDS

The non­profit Kootenay Career Development Society (KCDS) is tasked with helping area residents find a job, train for a new job, make a career transition, up­grade skills, write a knock-it-out-of-the-park resume and connect job seekers with employers looking to hire.

New executive director Jocelyn Carver said, “We help develop and support people who need work and connect them with people who need excellent employees.”

Jocelyn Carver, the new executive director of KCDS Jocelyn Carver, the new executive director of KCDS Photo courtesy KCDS

The programs and services KCDS offers are open to any B.C. resident at the two service centres in Castlegar and Nelson, along with satellite offices in Selmo, Slocan and Kaslo. These offices are staffed with professional employment counsellors.

Said Carver, “The biggest, most rewarding learning for me stepping into this position was the strength of the staff working here. I am blown away by the skill set that is required to meet people, listen carefully, then identify who they are and what their needs are, then navigate a complex environment to access as many services, supports and skills training as that person needs to help them move along their path.”

Nelson KCDS staff Nelson KCDS staff Photo courtesy KCDS

KCDS has a wide range of workshops and programs available to anyone looking for their first job, people who may be re-­entering the work force, others wanting a career change or semi-­retired persons shifting gears and focus.

One program starting up in January 2016 and running through to summer is called RAFT–Retail Accommodation and Food Service Training program. This program is designed to prepare workers for employment in the expanding retail sector.

The Thrive Program is for people who need a supported or customized work environment. The KCDS team of counsellors connect with businesses to identify what kind of work a client can do for the business that would be valuable for the employer. Once identified, KCDS can provide several types of support to make it easier for the employer to develop a job specifically for that KCDS client.

Carver pointed to the Tim Hortons in Castlegar. Working with a KCDS counselor, “this employer created a job that was just perfect for the client," he said. "The client has been very successful at it and it's been a wonderful experience for the employer and employee.”

This Tim Hortons' franchise received the first-ever KCDS Employer Award, recognizing the business for “being leaders in the employment community,” said Carver.

When it comes to connecting job seekers with employers, the primary vehicle is the job board. Employers can up­load job requests directly to the site and job seekers can access listed jobs 24/7.

KCDS is not only for job seekers, but also employers. KCDS offers services to employers “to help them hire the right people, help them with the whole hiring process and refer clients to employers,” said Carver.

The KCDS is preparing a major business initiative called Employers Edge. This employer-focused program will show businesses how to hire, inspire and retain the best people. This program should be getting started in 2016.

A passionate and excited Carver said, “When people are thinking for whatever reason, they need a [career or job] change, they need a change personally, they need a change financially, they need a change for whatever reason, they are not alone. All they need to know is that KCDS exists and all they have to do is walk through the door and we can help them.”

Be sure to check out the KCDS website for all the details you'll need to find a job you really want.