Poverty reduction organizations concerned with reformed employment services in Niagara and Hamilton

CKTB - NEWS - Employment

Officials with the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network and the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction are raising concerns with a new pilot project from the provincial government.

The Ford government has announced the leaders for a new reformed employment system service aimed at helping people on social assistance move into jobs.

The 'Service System Manager' for the Niagara and Hamilton areas is FedCap Employment - a US based organization.

Poverty reduction officials say the American organization was chosen over the City of Hamilton and worry about the amount of local accountability FedCap will have to clients and the community.

In a release, the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network and Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction question 'if the government sees the bottom line as more important than the well being of real people.'

Chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network Aidan Johnson says, "The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network has significant concerns about the Province's move to privatize employment services. Individuals with low-income require employment services that are familiar with their community's resources and the unique challenges that each region face throughout Ontario. Without clear communication detailing the accountably of these out of country service providers, there is little assurance that Niagara's most vulnerable population will receive the individualized and supportive services that they require to be the most successful."

Government officials claim clients will not experience any changes to how they access employment services and supports at this time and the new leaders will 'start establishing a presence in their prototype region and familiarizing themselves with the existing employment service provider network.'