Sometimes, building a better future requires some new tools and a little guidance in how to use them. That’s where Fraser Works Co-op comes in, providing resources and services to help job seekers find employers, and vice versa, in New Westminster and beyond.
“We provide free employment services for anyone from 16 to 80,” explains general manager, Tracey Fraser. “We are the only WorkBC Centre in New Westminster providing services for both jobseekers and employers in our community.”
WorkBC is co-funded by both the provincial and federal government. Fraser Works is unique within the WorkBC system because it’s one of the only centres operated as a cooperative, under the combined wings of four local organizations: AWARE Society, Fraserside Community Services Society, MOSAIC, and Pacific Community Resource Society.
“We really want people to know that we are here to help,” said Fraser. “We are here to assist jobseekers with any employment-related needs that they may have. We have employers who are seeking employees, and employees who are seeking employers. We want to ensure that people find and sustain employment that can improve the quality of their lives.”
Fraser says that the organization has a spectrum of tools to assist people, including a resource room with self-serve job support services, computers, printing, and job board services, and even a Working Man’s Closet program where men can access gently used suits and working gear that they might not otherwise be able to afford.
The centre also provides a wealth of case management services from training, to wage subsidy, to self employment referrals. They also offer assistance to employers, ranging from job postings to hiring fair, and have a partnership with the New Westminster Chamber of Commerce, called CONNECTIONS, that helps connect local employers to clients.
Fraser says the staff are all incredibly dedicated to the work they do.
“Our excellence comes through in our support of our clients and employers. We take a lot of pride in being able to assist people who may be at a low point in their life,” she said. “Our staff are knowledgeable, compassionate and focused on delivering the highest level of service. We strive for excellence in what we do and how we provide service. To be able to assist someone alleviate stress and anxiety is a wonderful feeling that we are very fortunate to experience in our day to day work here.”
The services are all provided free of charge, and the staff speak a combined 13 languages and are all certified with various vocational support credentials that give them the know-how and expertise to provide a vast array of services. Their efforts over the last seven years since they first opened have helped them build a strong reputation for supporting both individuals and the wider community.
“We strive to be compassionate in supporting our clients to reach their goals,” said Fraser. “We really focus on individual needs, be they jobseekers or employers.”
Though some people are referred there from Income Assistance or Employment Insurance programs, anyone is welcome to access services or learn more about what’s available by visiting their Seventh Street offices or by checking out online information through their website.
For more information about the Profiles of Excellence and the services they provide, please click here.