Prince George Profile of Excellence
Ted Clarke - Prince George Citizen
Looking for work is a full-time job that often requires hours of overtime. It takes persistence and the right connections to find steady employment. Fortunately, for the Prince George job market, there's a downtown agency focused on finding people for jobs and jobs for people.
For 20 years Kopar Administration Ltd. has been in the business of helping British Columbians find work as a placement agency that not only narrows the searches for job-seekers but helps employers locate people with the right skill sets.
Since 2012, Kopar has provided administrative services for Work BC, a one-stop resource centre for people who are looking for work, exploring career options or tryng to improve their job skills. Work BC staff follow hiring trends so clients know who to target in their job searches.
"Because we actively look for work on behalf of our cients, our chances of getting 90 to 95 percent of the job vacancies is pretty realistic." said Kopar President Tom Newell.
When we designed the company, we wanted to make sure that we provided the services to both sides of the coin. We spend as much time generating information on what the employer base or the business community is looking for so we can more realistically assist clients to enter that particular labour market.
In April, Kopar/Work BC moved to its new location at 150 Brunswick St - a 30,000 sq. ft. building designed by local architect Trelle Morrow, which for 54 years was the home of the Prince George Citizen. The spacious new location allows Kopar's 39 employees to provide employment services to their clients under one roof. The additional space enables the agency to conduct regular job fairs on site, which have proven successful with employers and individual clients.
Kopar employs 15 skills training job coaches, who work with individuals to find their dream job. Work BC conducts regular workshops, teaching everything from cover letter writing, resume building to interview techniques that will leave a positive impression on employers.
The new resource hub at the front or the building is a workspace where clients can check job boards, use computers to view new job postings, and create their resumes and cover letters with free access to phones, photocopiers and a book library.
"Technology has changed the way in which we look for work but it hasn't necessarily improved it or modified it in such a way thal it's now easier for someone to do." said Operations Manager Ken Newell.
"A lot of companies are moving towards an online application process where it has a bot that goes through resumes and looks for key words. If you're not savvy enough lo input that information into their computer systems you can end up missing out on the opportunity because you don't have the right buzzwords or you haven't put the right information in the right areas.
Through Work BC, job seekers can access federally-funded programs such as Skills Quest, which helps individuals with mental or physical disabilities develop job skills, and Northern Focus, a program geared towards recent post secondary school graduates looking for work in their chosen fields.
In July, Kopar launched Key BC, an 18-week program for people aged 18-30 focusing on salesmanship, interview skills, confidence building, confiict resolution and developing the right attitude and removing barriers to employment.