Jobs, jobs, jobs Whistler wins employment grant By Chris Woodall Whistler’s library, employment centre and secondary school have collectively won a $30,000 grant from Industry Canada, a federal government agency. The money will go toward computer equipment, training, and communications lines to link the three Whistler groups to national employment job listings and other job-related data. "People in the business community are pretty keen," says Ele Clarke, who is the co-ordinator of the steering committee behind the project and who wrote the grant request last fall. "They see we need a broader exposure to the Canadian job market." The money will be used to buy three computers for the employment centre, located in Creekside beside the Chamber of Commerce building. Two computers will be available to the public for job searches, the third will be for the employment centre manager. The timing is perfect for the employment centre. It had a break-in some months ago resulting in the theft of its computers. Most important, the data inside the computer was lost, too. "The money will also pay to link the employment centre with the high school’s computer lab and with the public library’s computers," says Clarke. Library users can dial into the employment network when the new system is installed there. Part of the funds will train a library person to help library patrons use the system. "The large number of well-qualified people we get in Whistler will especially want to use the data bank if they look for work elsewhere," Clarke says. A portion of the funds will pay for 18 months of network time. The federal agency funds are matched by money charged to use the high school’s computer lab and from the employment centre’s charges for job listings. "Once the system is up and running, employment centre charges should continue to pay for the network link," Clarke says. Funding is expected to be in the hands of the steering committee by the end of April with everything in place soon after, Clarke says. The steering committee behind the employment computer project are librarian Joan Richoz, David Morris, Shiela Mozes, employment centre manager Debbie Brisson, Anne Fenwick, and Georgann Cope-Watson.