Niagara job-seekers and employers now have a new place to connect in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines.
Niagara College’s Community Employment Services (CES) — formerly Employment and Training Solutions — celebrated the official opening of its new office space at 43 Church St. on Aug. 27.
Funded through the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities’ Employment Ontario, NC’s Community Employment Services provides support for individuals seeking employment or training; a resource centre which includes computer access for job search; employment related workshops and assistance to employers to meet their hiring needs.
The grand opening marks the completion of the office’s move from its former location at 1 St. Paul St. The new location is steps away from local landmarks like St. Catharines City Hall and Market Square.
“We’re thrilled to remain a part of the downtown St. Catharines community,” said College President Dan Patterson. “Having a presence in the heart of the city allows in-person access to our services, and reflects the mission of Community Employment Services to connect job-seekers and employers across Niagara”
The new office will also bring opportunities for new partnerships and programming with businesses and community organizations across Niagara. “We hope this new location will provide a space to allow those partnerships to thrive,” added Patterson.
St. Catharines MP Chris Bittle, Mayor of St. Catharines Walter Sendzik, and representatives from Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff also attended to celebrate the opening. MP Bittle and Mayor Sendzik presented certificates to the College commemorating the new space.
CES unveiled a new website earlier this year, with improved job-postings for employers and job seekers, and recently underwent a name change from Employment and Training Solutions to Community Employment Services. The new name is meant to better reflect the fact that anyone in the community, not just NC grads, can avail themselves of the team’s programs and services.
One such story is that of Mark Dellamano, President of Niagara-on-the-Lake Vacation Rentals and past client of Community Employment Services. After a 25-year career in investment banking in Toronto, Dellamano made the jump from Bay Street to Niagara’s wine country. In 2015, he sought help and guidance on self-employment from Niagara College CES, and used the experience and knowledge he gained through the program to develop and grow his business.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Vacation Rentals now works with 57 properties and their owners and in the last two-and-a-half years has grown its staff from three to 16. It continues to work with CES to attract and retain talented employees – many of whom are Niagara College graduates. “We constantly tap into Niagara College as a partner for assistance in bringing top quality individuals to our organization,” said Dellamano.