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2015 Vital Signs Survey Launch

The WindsorEssex Community Foundation launched its 2015 Vital Signs Survey today at the Windsor Star News Café.

Vital Signs is a community report that reviews key indicators and issue areas vital to the Windsor-Essex Community, combining national and local data with residents’ views on important issues based on a local survey the Foundation implements.  The report starts conversations between community members, leaders and organizations to inspire change in our community to make it a better place to live, work and play.

In the 2014 Vital Signs Report, a number of priorities were identified.  Under Food Security, priorities included access to locally grown food, access to affordable food and support for community gardens.  Under Getting Around, priorities included improving bus service and improving and expanding cycling facilities.  The desire for more pathways and bikeways was also noted as a priority under Health, Wellness and Activity.

Be sure to lend your thoughts to important issues facing Windsor-Essex by taking the 2015 Vital Signs Survey.  You can find the survey by visiting WindsorEssex Community Foundation’s website at www.wefc.ca.

 

Community Services Hub

South Essex Community Council has been a partner in a community services hub for 18 years.  Come to 215 Talbot Street East in Leamington and you will find us, along with a host of other services that you and your friends and family can access.  The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is here.  Did you know they have free dental clinics for low-income families, and parenting classes for new parents?  If you need a social insurance number or you need to apply for Employment Insurance, Service Canada is here at the “hub”.  The City of Windsor Social Services is also here to assist anyone needing income assistance and Access Neighbours is in the complex providing community building programs and a Trustee Program for at-risk youth.   St. Clair College is here teaching courses for the Business Computer Applications Certificate.  It’s not too late to register!  Other partners include:  Canadian Mental Health Association, Hiatus House, Financial Fitness, New Beginnings, Migrant Workers Community Program, Elder College, Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, Family Service Windsor, Bilingual Legal Aid, Ministry of Health,  and Credit Counselling.  The Greater Essex County District School Board is also located in the centre, offering adult education opportunities and employment services.  South Essex Community Council provides a whole host of services as well. If you’re looking for a job, we can help.  Need your feet looked after?  Our Foot Care Clinic provides the best foot care around!  Do you want to get involved in your community?  SECC’s Volunteer Services can connect you with meaningful and rewarding volunteer opportunities.  Does your elderly parent need someone it visit with?  Our Friendly Visiting program provides one-on-one social visits with volunteers who are pre-screened and rigorously trained.  You can access any of these services and others, along with information about the many community services that are available in Windsor-Essex by visiting us or calling 519-326-8629.  The Community Services Centre is on the bus route and there’s plenty of free parking if you’re driving out here.  Come and ask our friendly staff if they can help.  If SECC doesn’t offer the service you’re looking for, we’ll find out who does and get you connected, either by walking you over to one of our many service partners or by telephone.  That’s what we do and that’s why we’re so proud to be a part of this unique partnership with other community services.  SECC–Helping people.  Improving lives.

SECC Working in Partnership with St. Clair College

In partnership with SECC, St. Clair College is pleased to offer the Business Computer Applications Certificate in Leamington this fall.  Students can complete the entire certificate program in less than one year.  Course include Professional Computer Applications, Accounting Concepts, Word Processing Techniques and Spreadsheet Techniques.   Courses will take place Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, 6:00-9:30 pm at SECC Leamington site located at 215 Talbot Street East.  Interested students should contact St Clair College’s Continuing Education Office at (519) 972-2711 or coned@stclaircollege.ca.

Shared Prosperity: The Municipal Role in Reducing Poverty

Pathway to Potential (P2P) is Windsor-Essex County’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.  P2P’s Collaborative Leadership Team, of which SECC is a member,  recently underwent a strategic planning exercise and set 4 priorities for 2014-2017:  literacy and lifelong learning, income security and equality, employment and training, and food security.

P2P recently conducted the “What Matters” survey and here are a few things survey respondents had to say:

  • 79% agreed that “everyone has the right to live in a community with dignified access to sufficient, affordable, health, safe and culturally appropriate food.”
  • 63% said it matters “a lot” that “public transportation reaches all municipalities in Windsor-Essex”.
  • 85% support efforts to” encourage employers to pay a living wage” and 75% said they would be “more likely to buy things from a business that pays a living wage”.
  • 83% said it matters “a lot” that “the number of people living in poverty is reduced”.

1 in 10 people are living in poverty in Windsor-Essex.  Why does this matter?

  • Research shows that health and well being are linked to financial resources.  Having an income allows us to meet our basic needs.
  • Increasing literacy rates for all ages contributes to the well being of individuals, communities and families.  It affects physical health and nutrition.  It affects productivity in the workplace.
  • Having access to affordable transportation increases employment and business activity, increases mobility, decreases transportation costs for users, and creates growth for the local economy.

Poverty affects us all.  We want our region to be a prosperous one that invites new business investment, creates good employment opportunities, and is a safe and inviting place to live for all.  If creating a shared prosperity for all residents of Windsor-Essex is important to you, then you need to share those views with candidates running for municipal office this fall.  Our municipalities can and should create plans to address poverty in Windsor-Essex.  Attend the All Candidates Night hosted by Pathways to Potential at the Essex Recreation Complex on August 27th from 5:30-7:30.  Visit www.pathwaytopotential.ca for their reports on the What Matters survey, their strategic plan and the Windsor-Essex Transportation Report.  Municipal politics have a role to play in reducing poverty and creating a shared prosperity.  Make sure you tell this year’s candidates why it’s important to you.

What is job development?

You may have heard this term before, but like a lot of people, you may not know what it means.  A job developer is a human resources and marketing specialist.  A job developer creates job opportunities for  job seekers by helping employers determine their hiring need.  Oftentimes, people focus on what job developers can do for job seekers, but the SECC Job Developers also work with employers and businesses to assess their human resource needs and ensure that they get motivated, reliable and dependable candidates for the positions they need to fill.  By working with our job developers, employers have immediate access to a pool of job-ready job seekers as prospects for potential hires.   Registering your business with SECC’s Employment & Training Services will enable you to post jobs through our online Job Alerts, as well as on the internal Job Board and agency website,  in a quick and efficient manner so as to widen the range of exposure to the job posting.  Because the Job Developers are part of a wider team of Employment Consultants and Job Coaches, we work together to pre-screen job seekers for you to ensure you get suitable candidates, thus cutting cut down on the time-consuming process of hiring.  If you need a space to hold a job fair SECC, is happy to assist you by providing space and promotion of your job fair  in our accessible building.  As well, confidential office space is available for conducting interviews and can be booked in advance of your interviews through our job developers.
We know employers are busy.  Our goal is to lighten your load and assist you in finding the best person for the job.

Free School Supplies

South Essex Community Council and Salvation Army Family Services are once again offering free school supplies to families who might not be able to afford them.  Supplies are being collected through private donations and through partnerships with Staples’ “Donate to Educate” program, Monarch Basics and the Town of Leamington.  Individuals and businesses interested in making donations can do so at South Essex Community Council’s Leamington location (215 Talbot Street East).  We are accepting actual supplies as well as financial donations for the project.

Distribution of the supplies will take place on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 from 2 pm to 8 pm at SECC.  Parents interested in obtaining supplies need to bring their children or their children’s health card or birth certificate.  Supplies will be given out on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.  Families will be limited to a maximum of 3 kits per family to ensure that the project can assist as many families as possible.  For more information on the project, or how you can help, please call Noreen Wiebe at 519-326-8629 ext.

Community Engagement: Why is it important?

SECC has been involved with community engagement for more than 40 years.  It’s how we develop programming, address service gaps and create awareness in the broader community.  What is community engagement?  The Tamarack Institute (www.tamarackcommunity.ca) believes it means “people working collaboratively, through inspired action and learning, to create and realize bold visions for their common future“.   Community engagement can be passive or proactive.  It’s a process that empowers communities and is not limited by time.  Community engagement also favours multisectoral collaboration.  For example, this can mean non-profit or governmental organzations working with private sector companies to create new learning programs for workers or churches and community centres working together to provide neighbourhood engagement projects.

SECC exists for the communities it serves.  The organization is serious about engaging with a wide variety of people, businesses and service providers to make sure the communities of South Essex are the best they can be.  We believe that SECC can play a role in economic development, community and neighbourhood engagement, social service development, and local training and education opportunities.  SECC is committed to the community and we think individual citizens should be too.  It’s important to each of us to be engaged in our community, whether it be through volunteering, municipal politics, serving on boards, or getting involved with community projects.  But one of the best ways to become engaged in your community is simply by reaching out to your neighbours. It’s easy to do and it can help develop networks and friendships over time.  It can create safer neighbourhoods and it can create connections to people and things we many not have been previously  connected to.  It’s all a part of getting involved in our community and its engagement that can lead to new initiatives, new services and new opportunities.  So get out there–become engaged!  Look for opportunities to connect with others.  The Communities In Bloom initiative in Leamington (www.communitiesinbloompleamington.ca)  is a perfect opportunity to engage.  So is the Kingsville Folk Music Festival (www.kingsvillefolkfest.org).  They’re looking for volunteers.  Get involved, and tell us what you’re doing to be engaged in your community.