Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

“This program gives me hope”—StFX Centre for Employment Innovation leads new program creating jobs for African Nova Scotians

October 5th, 2020
Angela Bear

“This program gives me hope.”

That’s the reaction of Angela Bear, project lead, StFX’s Centre for Employment Innovation, who says they are excited to be working with Black leaders within the Nova Scotia Works employment services system on the $2.5 million Diversity and Inclusion Program announced today, Oct 5, 2020. 

Fifteen African Nova Scotians and people of African descent will be hired at Nova Scotia Works employment services centres across the province to ensure service providers better reflect the communities they serve.

Funding for the program comes from the Canada-Nova Scotia Labour Market Development Agreement; $2.5 million will allow the permanent career practitioner positions to be created. They will work one-on one with clients to support access to quality employment and training.

The program is led by StFX’s Centre for Employment Innovation and is guided by Black leaders within the Nova Scotia Works employment services system.

Ms. Bear says she believes this is the first initiative of its kind done in this way, across the province, with Black practitioners and leaders in a system that is meant to serve everyone. 

“As an African Nova Scotian woman, this program gives me hope. African Nova Scotians have historically experienced multiple systemic barriers to training and employment. This initiative works with African Nova Scotians and persons of African descent to open doors and create meaningful employment opportunities.”

"We know that access to quality employment services can be a barrier for African Nova Scotians,” African Nova Scotian Affairs Minister Tony Ince said in the announcement. "Employment service providers are connecting the people in their communities to training and jobs. This program will enable service providers to better reflect the communities they serve, and in turn, they’ll be able to provide increased support and outreach to other members of their communities."

The program was created by the department of Labour and Advanced Education, the Centre for Employment Innovation, the Nova Scotia Career Development Association and several employment service providers representing African Nova Scotian and people of African descent communities, including, the Valley African Nova Scotian Development Association, the YMCA-HRM, Career Connections and the Cumberland African Nova Scotian Association.

Funding will support the positions for two years.

Nova Scotia Works centres are posting jobs individually in their communities. For information on how to apply, visit https://www.novascotia.ca/works for a full list of centres.

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