Employment centre to close in Rimbey

The Rimbey and District Employment Centre will close its doors at the end of September

The Rimbey and District Employment Centre will close its doors at the end of September, as a result of what the province says is low area unemployment rates.

“The unemployment rate in the Central region is hovering below three per cent right now,” said Alberta Human Services spokesperson Charles Strachey. ”It was two-and-a-half per cent last month, which is considered full employment, so really, everyone who is ready and able to work is working.”

As a result, 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.

A request inviting employment service agencies to bid on a contract has been issued, he added. In October, however, 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.

But not everyone is on board with the centre’s closure. Rimbey mayor Rick Pankiw feels there are certain employment services offered in person that can’t be replicated online or via any other means.

“The employment centre gives people who are unable to travel to look for jobs the opportunity to walk downtown and talk to Monika (Rondeel — the centre’s employment counsellor) and see the jobs posted,” he said. “Not only that, but sit with her, tell her what it is they are capable of doing, and then she was going out and trying to fund jobs for these people.

“I believe that’s why the unemployment rate not only in Rimbey, but across Alberta, is low — because employment centres are helping that.”

Pankiw added the centre’s closure would be a “huge loss” to the town.

Rimbey CAO Lucien Cloutier said he couldn’t comment on the matter from a corporate perspective, as it hadn’t been formally presented to council by press time. From a personal perspective, however, he saw the closure as being “not a positive thing.”

“One reason (stated for the closure) was that the unemployment rate has been quite low, but I would suggest that possibly — and likely, perhaps — part of the reason that it is low is because we’ve had success in having that office here,” he said. “My concern is for those people who are needing those services and whether or not this is going to be harmful to their level of accessibility.”

Pankiw said the matter was to be discussed at last night’s council meeting (Aug. 25) before council would determine what, if any, actions could or would be taken to prevent the centre’s closure.


Just Posted

Town of Sylvan Lake passes 2019 tax rate, estimates education tax

Sylvan Lake and all municipalities have been left without an education tax from the Province

Town of Sylvan Lake to replace old water meters to streamline monthly billing

Town Council also approved replacing old water meters to the current technology

Drivers reminded impairment and driving don’t mix

National Road Safety Week May 14 to 20

Former Sylvan Lake resident launches latest book

Talena Winters will launch her book at the Sylvan Lake Municipal Library on Friday

Sylvan Lake bans use of charcoal barbecues in Town parks

Visitors and residents picnicking in Sylvan Lake are asked to leave the charcoal barbecues at home

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

Authorities warn out-of-control wildfire could cut northern Alberta town’s electricity

Alberta Transportation has closed Highway 35 south of High Level due to the fire

‘Rope-a-dope’: Environmentalists say Alberta war room threat won’t distract them

Those against Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aren’t worried about promise to fight critics of energy industry

Almost $13 million to be paid to Grande Prairie hospital subcontractors, others

No reasons for the Court of Queen’s Bench order were released

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Speed, alcohol considered factors in deadly Calgary crash: police

Two female passengers in the Corolla, aged 31 and 65, died at the scene

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

‘What’s your number?’: Advocates urge Canadians to check their blood pressure

May 17 is World Hypertension Day, marked to spread awareness on the risks of high blood pressure

National Impaired Driving Enforcement Day is May 18

Alberta RCMP participates in Canada Road Safety Week during Victoria Day long weekend

Most Read