Kitimat Community Services Society's Board of Directors governs the Agency by making policy for long-term direction and determining the scope of the work we do. The Board employs a senior staff person, the Executive Director, to implement its policies and to manage the day-to-day business of the organization. The ED is accountable to the Board. Front-line staff and service volunteers are accountable to the ED and will implement the activities as described. The ED conducts staff performance appraisals and finances. At our yearly Annual General Meeting, the bylaws and constitution are reviewed by the membership, and changes are recommended and voted upon. The Board sanctions our yearly financial review and financial statements are reviewed at our AGM by our membership.
Kitimat Community Services Society was created when the town of Kitimat itself was only 20 years old and still establishing its identity. With Alcan’s workforce peaking at 2,730 the community was alive with energy and social activity. Residents who were children at the time remember attending many events with their families including block parties, river rafting competitions and community picnics. Within all this hustle and bustle a group of community members came together to create a hub that promoted volunteerism to support the various activities and events. At the same time social needs were emerging and so on March 18th, 1974 the Kitimat Community Services Society was incorporated.
Learn how we have grown over the years with community input, support and partnerships
Incorporated on March 18th, 1974, Kitimat Community Services Society promoted volunteerism and organized a variety of initiatives that encouraged family activities within the community. Through community needs determination, we emerged as an information and public service bureau and began exploring funding options for programs that we developed in cooperation with other community agencies. Examples include Mother's Time Out and the Kitimat Crisis Line.
Literacy Kitimat is Introduced
Literacy Kitimat originated in 1989 following a request from an Alcan employee who needed assistance with reading. With financial support from Northwest Community College, the BC Gaming Commission, and local donations, we have taught students from all over the world to read, write and speak English. This program has evolved in the last 8 years to include assistance with distance education courses. Our Coordinator conducts a preliminary educational history assessment, administers and grades the entrance exam, and then assists the learner with the application. When the learner receives their courses, we review the package to explain the process, provide individual and group tutoring, and, finally, test supervision. In the late 1980s, we began to address employment issues in our community through programs such as Work Oriented Workshops and Employment Preparation and our Volunteer Incentive Program linked with Regionally Initiated Special Employment Program which trained female social assistance recipients in the entry-level skills required to secure jobs in the clerical field and enrol in post-secondary education.
In our continuing partnership with the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology, we contracted to deliver their employment programs for social assistance recipients in 1996 and the Bridging Program for Women Abuse Survivors. We also tackled youth unemployment by delivering several Youth Employment Skills programs that assisted youth to overcome personal barriers, obtain work experience and find employment. Through all these years, we continued to assist clients to write resumes, contact employers, and look for work. It was in 1997 that our local labor market began to show signs of deterioration beginning with the downsizing of Alcan and Eurocan, thus having a direct impact on small business and entry-level jobs. With HRSDC's financial support for employment assistance services, we began to tackle the issues relating to unemployment in Kitimat. With financial support obtained from the Local Labor Market Partnerships Program and with support from the District of Kitimat, we have conducted a feasibility study for an Enterprise Centre in Kitimat to nurture entrepreneurs and coordinated a conference for youth to explore the idea of self-employment. We continue to provide clients with resources to assist them in their entrepreneurial ventures.
Along the Way
Skeena Native Development Society came on board with us in 1999 to provide employment counselling specifically for First Nation's individuals. We delivered their EAS services for 2 years.
Helping Youth in Community
We continue to work with the Ministry of Human Resources employment programs as funding becomes available and worked cooperatively with NWCC to deliver what KCSS fashioned as the "Connecting to Work Program" for BC Benefits recipients. Our role was to provide job coaching and teach job searching skills to participants in the program. We continue to work with at-risk youth by administering the Kitimat Youth Centre and the Odyssey Program - a version of the Youth Employment Skills program. Currently, the Ministry for Housing and Social Development funds the Jobwave and Community Assistance Program for BC Benefits recipients.
In 2003, together with the Kiwanis Seniors Citizens Housing Society, KCSS has worked steadfastly to bring Kitimat's first Seniors Assisted Living Complex to our community. The Delta King Place opened its doors on August 1st, 2007.
Literacy at Grassroots Level
In 2007 literacy practitioners in the community came together to form the Kitimat Community Literacy Network. Under the stewardship of the KCSS, funding from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Legacies 2010 is being used to develop local programs and services at the grassroots level