As of the end of September, the Rimbey and District Employment Centre closed its doors.
For some it was a bitter pill to swallow, but it appears the change is inevitable and people in the area will need to look at other options to find employment.
In a letter to Janet Porter from Rimbey and District Victim Services, Donna Ludvigsen, assistant deputy minister of employment and financial supports said she Alberta Works – Central Region is responding to this challenge by improving employment services for Lacombe and Ponoka County residents, including the Town of Rimbey.
She said intensive one-on-one employment services will be provided by local career counsellors to any Albertan who is having trouble finding or keeping a job.
Ludvigsen said Alberta Works’ programs and services are designed to help Albertans understand the labour market, make informed career decisions, develop realistic education, training and employment plans, and prepare for, find and maintain work.
In an earlier interview, Alberta Human Services spokesperson Charles Strachey said
the unemployment rate in the Central region is hovering below three per cent. As a result of the low unemployment rate, the province’s contract with the Lacombe Action Group to provide employment services to the Rimbey area will not be extended beyond the end of next month.
But that doesn’t mean remaining job seekers will be abandoned, said Strachey. Means are being put in place to ensure they’re able to receive a similar, if not the same, level of assistance in helping them find work.
“We’re improving services for residents who are having more difficulties finding employment, and employment services are going to continue on in Rimbey, they’re just going to look a little different,” said Strachey.
Job seekers will still have access to local career counsellors, as well as a number of online services such as job searching tips and an online résumé review.
“We’re just delivering the services in a different way, and really putting a little bit more emphasis on those last remaining few people who need a little bit more help,” said Strachey.
Mayor Rick Pankiw said the Town of Rimbey has also sent a letter expressing their concerns over the closure of the Unemployment Centre.
“We have yet to receive a response,” he said.
He said he is aware there are other options available to people looking for employment, but stands by his earlier statements that losing the centre is a loss to the town.
“Some people not only want the one on one attention they require it. We have lost the personal touch by not having Monica here. Not everyone has a computer or the means to get to the library and use their computers.”