Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It was a gorgeous day in Toronto. A few of us went out at noon to St. Lawrence Market to sit on a bench and have lunch. I frequently go there to get away from the campus and have a little down time. Afterwards, I'll make a pit-stop at Lettieri to get my new favorite beverage - green tea with fresh ginger and lemon slices. A classmate once referred to it as a "cup of summer" (it really is).

After lunch, we reconvened in the computer lab and then went on a field trip to an ERC (Employment Resource Centre) where we were met by a CEIS (Career Employment Information Specialist) who told us about the centre and all of the wonderful services they provided. I wish I had known more about what ERCs offered when I was looking for work or contemplating a new career. I always thought the services were only available to people who were on EI or social assistance but that's not the case. Depending on where you go, the services are open to everyone and the majority of them are free.

We went to the Toronto Centre ERC, which had wonderful resources such as computer training, job exploration workshops and dozens and dozens of books and publications to use. They even offer online resume critiques with a five-day turnaround and free wi-fi.

The ERC has hosted job fairs and recruitment days which surprised me at first but of course makes total sense. They also strive to serve clients within 15 minutes, which is pretty amazing if you consider how busy they must be these days.

There are Newcomer Services that include free English Conversation Circles every Tuesday and Thursday. They also have a section of matériau en francais seulment (I apologize to the Francophiles out there for my weak translation). There are several computers and telephones for public use, as well as fax machines and photocopiers. There are job boards organized by industry and field, online job search resources and information about factors that may be impacting one's employment such as child support or having a criminal record.

The centre is located at 21 St. Clair Avenue, Suite 600. If you're looking for an assessment centre, The Career Foundation is located in Suite 1200 in the same building. It's very easy to get to by TTC as it's right by St. Clair Station on the Yonge line. It is also conveniently situated close to a Citizen & Immigration office at Suite 200, 25 St. Clair Avenue, as well as an Employment Insurance office on the 2nd floor of 55 St. Clair Avenue.

So, if you're thinking of a new career or just need access to information that you can't find on the web, why not stop by an Employment Resource Centre? You might even see me there one day.

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