by Ruby Arsenault
Career Development Services (CDS) is a confidential and welcoming place which provides help to those searching for work on PEI.
Here is a list of some of the services they provide:
- Search for a new job
- Get help with resumés and cover letters
- Prepare for job interviews
- Learn about different careers and the local labour market
- Discover skills and abilities
- Extensive job board
They can also help those interested in entering or returning to post-secondary studies. CDS sees a number of clients who are interested in furthering their academic studies and assists with career decision making, labour market information, and funding options.
They field numerous queries about program prerequisites, availability, and start dates. “Once someone decides on a career path that works for them, we try our best to mitigate any surprises down the road,” says Dean Getson, Site Manager of the CDS O’Leary office. “We ask the tough questions up front in an effort to help people make a smooth transition into post-secondary studies.”
One-on-one COVID-19 friendly information sessions are arranged to assist clients with school applications and funding options such as bursaries, student loans, potential grants, and government programs.
Like many service delivery organizations, COVID-19 has forced CDS to look at their method of delivery and to respond accordingly. “Appointments can be in-person at any of the five office locations, by e-mail or phone conversations, or through the Zoom platform.
“In some cases, we offer flexible hours to best meet the needs of our clientele. First and foremost, we want to create a safe and welcoming culture for everyone. Site managers are constantly reviewing their operational plans and making the necessary changes as needed.
“We work with people at the grassroots level of our services, and it is so rewarding to seeing them progress to post-secondary. Some people come in for the first time to receive assistance and we go over funding options. Each year CDS helps hundreds of individuals access funding through SkillsPEI’s Career Connect and Training PEI programs.
“These excellent programs have proven to be a huge financial help to thousands of students. We urge everyone to check them out and to contact us or SkillsPEI with questions.
“We can all agree that post-secondary education is expensive, so we do our best to stay on top of programs and services that help alleviate some of that cost. Never before have we seen so many available programs, bursaries, and grants to assist students.”
Dean encourages the public to not wait until the last minute. “We would encourage anyone with questions to contact us as soon as possible. Also, we ask those who have just received their acceptance letter to connect with us right away. There is a long list of resources available, and the trick is finding the ones that work best for you.”
CDS is known for their holistic approach to case management. Along with providing funding options for post-secondary students, they offer a full suite of job search services.
“We offer a complete wrap-around service for our clients. Our goal is to see them transition into employment that makes sense to them, and we are here to help. Our supports extend well past the end of the school year.”
For more information, contact CDS at any of the following locations:
O’Leary – 454 Main Street, 902-859-2776, [email protected]
Summerside – 674 Water St., 902-436-0706, [email protected]
Charlottetown – 160 Belvedere Avenue, 902-626-2014, [email protected]
Montague – 500 Main Street (Down East Mall), 902-838-5453, [email protected]
Souris – 175 Main Street (Souris Mall), 902- 687-1526, [email protected]
Funded by the Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture through the Canada-PEI Labour Market Agreements.