Equitem reconnects workers to the job market

Equitem’s distinction lies in its approach to the workforce. The organization promotes the socio-professional integration of a clientele who has moved away from the labor market, including people who have gone to court. The new factory-school in Saguenay has been welcoming around twenty participants for the past few months.

They will live rewarding experiences. At the end of the course, normally, they will have progressed enough to find a job in another industry, in another factory, explains Équitem’s general manager, André Simard.

André Simard is General Manager at Equitem

Photo: Radio-Canada / Annie-Claude Brisson

The former soldier and his team support the participants without judgement. Regardless of their background, the manager believes they deserve a second chance.

« A societal choice has been made and that is to help these people and try to bring them back into society. We are here to try to bring them back to a more inclusive socio-professional life and to help them participate in society. That’s what we do. »

A quote from André Simard, General Manager of Equitem

New factory in Jonquière

Components of pallets, pallets and surveying stakes are notably made between the walls of the factory-school built in the borough of Jonquière. Despite its mission, Equitem must still reflect the reality of factory work. Added to this are production targets.

You have to be flexible enough to support people, to be able to take them out of production and bring them into training. At the same time, you shouldn’t be too far from another industry. We need to have an environment that is as similar as possible to another industry. When they leave here, the step will not be too high. They will still meet there, emphasizes Mr. Simard.

A man works in a wood factory

For some employees, the six-month internship can turn into a permanent job.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Annie-Claude Brisson

The organization’s multidisciplinary team puts everything in place to improve the autonomy of the participants. The presence of responders in the facilities makes it possible to intervene on a daily basis. Each participant will progress at their own pace during the six-month program. The goal is that they will eventually be able to get and keep a job in a traditional workplace.

A woman poses in front of work lockers

Annie Doyon is coordinator and worker in employability at Équitem

Photo: Radio-Canada / Annie-Claude Brisson

Some need help with job search methods. Some of them haven’t worked for a long time, it’s been years. Sometimes they had very difficult times. They need people who believe in them. That’s it at the start, we believe in their integration into the labor market, highlights the coordinator of the employability department, Annie Doyon.

A professional spark

In some cases, the move to Equitem will lead to permanent employment. Dany Daigle was delighted, when he met, that his career could be transformed in this way. He was delighted to be able to continue working with wood.

It is sure that it will become a job. Fingers crossed, but there’s a good chance. My arrival helped me a lot. We have a good framework. Working is valorization. And you have to work in life, he confided during a break from work.

A man poses in a factory

Dany Daigle began his career at Équitem a few months ago.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Annie-Claude Brisson

Bruno Lavoie, for his part, loves the multitude of tasks related to his work at Équitem. He too hoped to see his internship turned into a job. So far, it’s just nice comments. I want to stay after the six months and I have a chance of staying too, he said.

Christian Fortin wanted to leave Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean to work in northern Quebec. His time at the factory-school in Jonquière convinced him to review his plans.

At the beginning, I found it difficult, it was not the same as my old job. Now I have found a taste for it. There are good people here, mentioned the participant.

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