Veteran employment program receives $1.1 million in funding


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

Canada Company’s mission to assist veterans in their transition to the civilian workforce has received a $1.1-million boost from the Government of Canada.

Minister of Veterans Affairs Kent Hehr made the funding announcement on behalf of the Ministry of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour at the Canada Company’s 2016 National Transition Exchange Conference on Nov. 15 in Ottawa.

The funding will be used to create a searchable online database and analytics tool to help former military personnel transition to existing high-demand private sector jobs and compatible educational and skills upgrade programs.

“Helping Canada’s veterans find good jobs in the private sector is truly a win-win for everyone involved because veterans get to put their training and hard-earned skills to good use following their release from the military, while Canadian businesses benefit from the unique skills veterans offer,” said Hehr.

Canada Company’s  National Transitions Exchange held at Canada’s Aviation and Space Museum brought together more than 250 veterans and their families, and close to 200 corporate employer partners representing 70 different companies. The event featured several Educational Labs in the morning, which included corporate and military guest speakers, and an exclusive Career Connect fair in the afternoon.

Canada Company, a Toronto-based non-profit, was established in 2006 with its pledge to “stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the troops for the sacrifices they make every day.” With only a handful of members in its first days, today it boasts over 600 members and has become a growing outreach between the Canadian Armed Forces and the business world.

Canada Company President Angela Mondou said the funding announcement by Minister Hehr was “a massive boost” which will assist her group’s efforts to reach out to members on digital programs with new interactive job-search software.

“Put simply, the new software operates much like a [dating service] and is a two-way street for veterans to showcase their skills and unique experience to potential employers, and the corporate world to get information about their employment needs to veterans,” said Mondou.

Mondou was a Mobile Air Movements/Logistics Officer for the Canadian Armed Forces between 1986 and 1994, and did tours in the former Soviet republic of Yugoslavia and Operation Desert Storm. She has first-hand experience of the struggles former military personnel go through when making the transition to the civilian work force.

“When I transitioned in the mid 1990s we really didn’t have the support network to make the transition. My biggest resource during my transition was the careers section in the newspaper. There was very little guidance back then.”

Reservist, MCpl Jenn Labrador was part a five-member panel discussion at the conference. She spoke about the advantages for potential employers hiring reservists. She works at the B.C. Institute of Technology and assists with their National Advanced Placement Prior Learning Program that helps current and retired service members prepare for employment in the civilian world. She says the funding will further the Canada Company’s efforts to help the corporate world better recognize the advantage of hiring both reservists and full-time military.

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