Based in Toronto, Ontario, JobStart is a nonprofit United Way member agency that helps participants gain the skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. In December 2007, the agency received Microsoft® Office OneNote® 2007 through a sponsorship from Microsoft Canada and began testing the software in its youth program. JobStart anticipates that using Office OneNote 2007 will reduce costs while increasing collaboration between students and instructors.
JobStart was originally established in 1980 as the Centre for Advancement in Work and Living. For 28 years this nonprofit agency has been committed to helping Toronto’s youth become gainfully employed. JobStart also provides innovative employment services to adults, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities, and students.
In November 2006, JobStart received the Minister’s Silver Award for Excellence in Service Quality from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. This award recognizes the excellent employment services JobStart provides to individuals and employers and its capacity to respond to the changing needs of the community. JobStart delivers Employment Ontario, an integrated, client-centered service designed to provide employment and training to individuals 16 years of age and eligible to work in Canada. JobStart is funded by all three levels of government, by United Way of Toronto, and by an Unlimited Potential Grant from Microsoft Canada.
For the past 14 years, JobStart and the Toronto District School Board have worked in partnership to offer Literacy Basic Skills (LBS) instruction and General Educational Development (GED) test preparation to individuals seeking employment. Sam Sanfilippo, LBS/GED Instructor, says the goal is to help young people upgrade their math, reading, and workplace skills to improve their chances of being employed or placed in an apprenticeship opportunity.
As a nonprofit agency, JobStart is committed to increasing the quality of its service while reducing costs and running more efficiently. “We recently began tracking how much paper we use to print our math and English worksheets,” says Julia Knapp, Director, Programs and Services, JobStart. “In the past six months we’ve already used over 20,000 sheets.” JobStart began looking for a solution that would reduce printing and paper costs while increasing the flexibility and dynamism of the educational tools available to its instructors.
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