During Québec Adult Learner’s Week this week, Portage is celebrating the work being done in its two employment training and reintegration centres, one in Québec City and the other in Montréal.
Since it was established in 1987, Portage’s Employment Reintegration Centre in Québec City has been helping people who have had problems with drugs, alcohol, and gambling to reintegrate into society and find meaningful employment. Funded by Emploi-Québec and provided free-of-charge to participants, the program has helped equip over 7,000 people with the skills and confidence they need to reintegrate into the workforce.
“I can tell you that setting goals and finding what you love to do in life are two very important things when you’re trying to overcome addiction,” states Rémi, a graduate of the program. “Today, I stand up for my values and beliefs that I rediscovered while at Portage. In learning to respect myself, my family and friends have learned to trust me again, because now when I say that I’m going to do something, I do it. I have also learned how to say no and to take responsibility for my decisions. I sometimes make mistakes, but I admit to them and I continue to move forward.”
The MIRE Program (Movement for Integration and Retention in Employment), established in Montréal in 2002, helps adults living in poverty and dealing with social exclusion and difficulties, to integrate or reintegrate the workforce on a permanent basis. The program is based on the therapeutic community approach and encourages the development of the participant’s autonomy and accountability on psycho-relational, socio-professional, and social community levels. The program aims to simulate a work environment and seeks to develop participants’ attitudes, abilities, and work skills. Since October 2008, MIRE has been funded by Emploi-Québec.
“I didn’t have any self-confidence and could never keep a job for very long,” explains Nancy, a graduate of the MIRE Program. “Being in the group environment at MIRE helped me gain my confidence back and the staff members at MIRE helped me find my current job.”