Employment centre under new management starting Monday

There will be a new manager, one less staff person and a new website when Revelstoke’s employment centre changes hands next week.

There will be a new manager, one less staff person and a new website when Revelstoke’s employment centre changes hands next week.

Otti Brown will be taking over as manager of the centre from Cathie Thacker, who is moving on under her own accord.

There will also be one less staff member at the centre when WCG International assumes the contract to run the centre, which will become known as the Employment Program of BC.

A new website will be launched on April 2.

The move is part of a provincial government program to amalgamate several disparate employment assistance programs into one program.

WCG won the contract to run the program after no one else bid on the contract in Revelstoke. Okanagan College, which used to run the centre, declined to bid on the new contract.

WCG is a human resources consulting company base out of Victoria, B.C.

Jill Zacharias, the city’s social development co-ordinator, said the new contractor has “really been conscientious about maintaining continuity of service to the best of their ability.”

Sally Deck, the contract manager with WCG, said some programs, like the employment assistance program run by Community Futures, will remain as-is. Assistance for people with disabilities and income-assistance programs will be run by WCG.

“That’s our experties throughout the province,” said Deck.

She said all services that were previously available will remain, but under the name of one program.

“It is a different program delivering model,” said Zacharias. “I think it’s going to take at least six months for them to figure it out. I think they’re going to try for as little disruption as possible but its going to take them a while to figure out everything.”

According to Zacharias, there was a risk of there being no employment centre in Revelstoke at all if WCG did not bid on the contract.

“Given everything, we’re actually fairly fortunate that we’re going to have a pretty smooth transition and that we’re going to have an employment centre to begin with,” she said.