Job centre moves out of Aldergrove

The company that runs Aldergrove’s Community Resources centre has lost its contract with the B.C. government, meaning the centre will close at the end of this month and local job-seekers will likely have to look outside town for help.

From April 2, the B.C. government’s new Employment Program means the local contract for such services moves from Myert Corp. Inc. to Back in Motion, which doesn’t have an office in Aldergrove.

Back in Motion will have an office in Langley.

Myert not only has an Aldergrove operation that owner George Imbenzi says meets with 200 clients a month (and a great many more casual drop-ins), but also a youth resource office in Langley, with free bus passes provided for Aldergrove youth. He doubts there’ll be any more free passes, meaning grocery money will go to transit if young people still want to make the trip.

Five people in the Aldergrove office will also be laid off — two counsellors, a special clinical counsellor, a job developer and a front-office receptionist.

But the worst thing, says Imbenzi, about Victoria’s move to cut the number of five-year employment-services contracts around B.C. from 300 to 73 is “the big snowball down the mountain.”

“It’s going to put the social services sector out of work.”

Imbenzi has run Myert for 16 years and isn’t worried about his personal future.  “As a business person, I can always start again,” he says. “But it’s our clients in Aldergrove I worry about.”

Imbenzi claims a 96-per-cent-success rate of job placements between 2001 and 2011.

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