February 24, 2010- Province, Co-op Council Launch New Job-recruitment Program

The provincial government and the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council kicked-off a new partnership today (Feb. 24) that will connect unemployed or under-employed Nova Scotians with jobs that meet today's labour market needs.

Premier Darrell Dexter and Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse launched the Target 100 employment program. Mountain Equipment Co-op, a member of the Nova Scotia Co-operative Council, hosted the event, which was broadcast live via a government webcast.

The Target 100 program is designed to recruit, train and employ 100 Department of Community Services' clients over the next two to three years for jobs at co-op businesses around the province.

"Target 100 connects real people with real jobs in their community, and not just any jobs, but good jobs with benefits, profit sharing and opportunities for advancement," said Premier Dexter. "These are the kind of jobs that will enable struggling Nova Scotians to raise their families and build a life."

The co-op council said that, over the next few years, it will have hundreds of vacant positions to fill. It makes sense to work with Community Services, which shares the same values, to fill the positions, said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse.

"Both the co-op council and Community Services operate on values of self-help, social responsibility and caring for others," Ms. Peterson-Rafuse said. "Target 100 allows us to work together to support the healthy productive people and communities we believe in."

"This is the best kind of partnership, one where everybody wins," said Dianne Kelderman, chief executive officer of the council. "It is a win for the co-ops looking for employees, a win for Community Services in its efforts to provide people in need with opportunities to become independent and, most importantly, a win for those who find not just a job, but a career."

Potential positions vary from customer service to marketing, management, skilled trades and administrative. Salaries will start at $10.50 to $15.50 an hour. Jobs will also come with medical and dental benefits, pensions, co-op shares, training and the opportunity for loans at reduced rates.

This initiative is in line with Nova Scotia's ongoing Poverty Reduction Strategy that was put in place in 2009. The strategy highlights the need for people to find work and be rewarded for it.

For the complete News Release click here.