Knack matches employers with trained workers desiring casual or part-time work
Potluck Café Society has launched a new employment platform for Downtown Eastside residents. Developed in partnership with RADIUS SFU and Ecotrust Canada’s joint initiative LEDlab, Knack expands Potluck Café Society’s social impact hiring model.
“We’ve seen firsthand how successful the model has been with Potluck,” says Colin Stansfield, Executive Director of Potluck Café Society. “We started this initiative because we can see how an expanded model would benefit businesses and DTES residents alike.”
Knack offers a series of free weekly workshops to people who face barriers to traditional employment. The workshops teach eight fundamental ‘soft’ skills developed from Work BC guidelines and consultations with employers.
Workshop participants earn ‘badges’ that indicate a proficiency in a particular skill. The program will provide a reference to participants once they have earned all eight badges. Those who complete the workshop series then gain access to a pool of opportunities with businesses looking for part-time or casual employees.
“We’re currently running our third series of job training workshops,” says Knack program coordinator Anna Migicovsky. “Participant who have gone through the Knack workshops are currently employed at social enterprises like Sole Food Farms and Hives ”
Knack is currently looking for more businesses to join their social-impact hiring platform.
Businesses interested in joining Knack are invited to learn more about the program, the benefits of inclusive hiring, and, community impact on Tuesday, February 16, at the Pint Public House.
“We know that these people make great, reliable employees,” says Stansfield. “With the launch of Knack, we hope to scale the social impact of this program to include the larger business community in Vancouver.”
Potluck Café Society was founded in 2001 to help end the cycle of poverty in the Downtown Eastside community and address the needs of its most nutritionally vulnerable residents through solutions that promote employment and nutrition. Over the past 15 years, Potluck has been successful at creating jobs and supportive work environments for people who are facing barriers to traditional employment.
For media inquiries and more information, please contact Anna Migicovsky at info[at]knackworks[dot]ca.
The development of Knack has been supported by the Local Economic Development Lab, an initiative of RADIUS and Ecotrust Canada.