Two people are helping the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce Walk on the Wildside (WWS) to promote business growth in the area, thanks to nearly $23,000 in provincial funding.
The people hired for the project are getting six months of work experience in data collection, volunteer co-ordination, communications, marketing and administration as they set up the first WWS regional business walk. The data-gathering walk will take place Feb. 16 – 18, 2016, in Parksville and the northern communities of the Regional District of Nanaimo, from Bowser to Nanoose Bay and Hilliers.
Business walks are becoming increasingly popular throughout B.C. Community volunteers pay a short visit to a number of businesses to gather information on the business climate of a community, the well-being of individual businesses and its needs. The community and economic benefits of the walks are designed to help with business retention and expansion, based on data gathered. The information will be used to better understand the local business environment and offer supports, if needed, through the chamber.
As many as 500 businesses will be visited over three days using about 50 volunteers, including local politicians. A report will be written toward the end of the project correlating the survey’s findings. It wraps up in May 2016.
This project is funded through the provincial Community and Employer Partnerships program, which was introduced in April 2012 as part of the Employment Program of BC.
Government is taking action to address the rapidly changing labour market. The B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint was created to ensure more British Columbians have the skills they need to be first in line for in-demand jobs in B.C.'s diverse, strong and growing economy.
The Community and Employer Partnerships program is featured in B.C.’s Skills for Jobs Blueprint and provides more support to people who are struggling to gain a foothold in the job market. It helps build stronger partnerships with industry and labour to connect British Columbians with classroom and on-the-job training, while making it easier for employers to hire the skilled workers they need – when and where they need them.
To date, the program has helped more than 900 job seekers benefit from work experience and funded 195 projects throughout the province.