Sault Community Career Centre Infrastructure Update

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
Sault Community Career Centre
City & State:
Sault Ste. Marie., 
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

The Sault Community Career Centre is a fully accessible, one-stop central location providing streamlined, professional, and customer-focused services to individuals and businesses in a confident and inviting environment. These services are delivered either personally or by virtual connection by highly trained and knowledgeable staff who are technologically advanced and dedicated to the personal and professional growth of all individuals and businesses. The Sault Community Career Centre recognizes, supports and meets the needs of all individuals and businesses while embracing and adapting to changes in the economy and labour market.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

Microsoft Makes Us Work!Like many offices around the world, the employees at my office were reluctant to move to Microsoft Office 2007. Many feared that the changes in the interface would impede them in our service delivery, and that the learning curve would be insurmountable. They were, of course, wrong.At the Sault Community Career Centre we are in constant contact with Microsoft Word and Excel Files that are generated by our clients as resumes, business plans and letters of rationale. I knew it was time to make the change when I started receiving an increasing amount of calls from the consultants who needed documents converted. It seemed that regardless of how the consultants wanted the world to stay the same, the world was adapting to the new technology, and as such, we needed to as well.Though our non-profit status, we were able to acquire Microsoft Office 2007 Professional through Tech Soup, which fiscally made the transition possible. The transition created a whole new world in our employment centre. Microsoft Office 2007 opened up doors to better collect information, allowed us to stay abreast of technology, create training classes and resources for our client base.When we realized the differences between Microsoft Word 2003 vs. Microsoft Word 2007, it seemed appropriate to create training classes for those who would be returning to the workforce, or simply needed to upgrade their skills on this technology. Currently we offer an Introduction To Microsoft Word 2007 and Introduction To Excel 2007. This greatly increased the productivity of our Resource Room, as all of the Resource Room computers had been upgraded to Microsoft Office 2007. The introductory courses teach individuals who have never used Microsoft Office, or those who are more familiar with the previous interface, how to navigate the programs and produce documents. This allowed our clients to better utilize our resources, such as our resume templates, in a self-service capacity. Many of the individuals who have been introduced to these new applications praise both the ease of usability and the ingenious details provided when hovering over an icon.Internally, we have begun to use Excel 2007 to track important measures regarding the flow of clients into our centre. As a funded organization, it is always paramount for us to justify how many individuals we are servicing at our centre. The ease of use of Excel 2007’s chart capabilities has allowed us to create spreadsheets that contain both numerical and chart information on the same sheet. This is very helpful for those people who find it easier to understand and compute graphics as opposed to numbers. As we gather these statistics, we are now getting a much clearer picture of the seasonal ebb and flow of client needs.In addition to the resources available in our Resource Room, the Sault Community Career Centre’s subgroup New To The Sault (which provides settlement services for internationally trained individuals), benefitted from the change in technology. Part of the mandate of New To The Sault is to acclimate individuals to Sault Ste. Marie. Utilizing PowerPoint 2007 we were able to produce a presentation entitled, “Sault Ste. Marie – A Brief History” to help newcomers understand the history of their new home. We are currently developing more presentations that can run repetitiously in our Resource Room. These presentations are generally more employment focused, and will allow clients to gain a better understanding of the programs available to them. We expect this to generate interest in more of our employment programs and ultimately lead more into employment.For internal use we use Microsoft Outlook 2007 to manage our e-mail and calendar functionality. Sharing calendars has become much easier in Outlook 2007, and has saved the IT team a great deal of time. Microsoft Infopath 2007 we use to create all of our standardized forms we use to service clients, and are mandated by Employment Ontario to use Microsoft Access for a common database system that is synchronized monthly. Microsoft Publisher 2007 is currently used for posters, external calendars and announcements. Using this in conjunction with our website, allows our clients to keep up to date with upcoming workshops and events. Creating hard copies of these items for less computer savvy individuals, Publisher 2007 has become an integral part of our media connection.Overall, the donation we received of Microsoft Office 2007 has not only increased our internal productivity and service delivery, it has also allowed us to broaden our client base by providing new venues for us to connect. Today it is difficult to imagine how our centre would function without this software suite!

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery