The new TR Leger officially opened their doors for new students Tues., Jan. 22, offering 11 different skills courses to help adults successfully enter the workforce. From the left, principal Sandy McInnes, STEP-instructor Nicole McDonald and Roxane McDonell, manager of literacy and language services. Glover photo

EMBRUN – Entering the workforce can be a difficult task for anyone without the proper training and skills.

That’s the goal of the TR Leger School, to help adults learn the skills necessary to earn an honest living through hard work and determination. A new establishment officially opened in Embrun Tues., Jan. 22, hoping to help adults continue their goals with the Skills Training and Employment Preparation program, or STEP for short.

“It’s basically a program that is funded for us to be able to provide upgrading for adults in a variety of ways,” said Roxane McDonell, manager of literacy and language services. “One of the very popular upgrading curriculums is the digital upgrading, offering basic upgrading in Microsoft programs such as Excel, Powerpoint and Word. Really, the end result here is that we want to teach the skills necessary for people to get jobs.”

Sandy McInnes, principal of the TR Leger, added to McDonell’s statement, “It’s like one-stop shopping. We want to identify pathways for folks to move them towards successful employment. If their pathway is a review of their literacy, numeracy and digital skills, then that’s great for a place of work. However, with a lot of students as well, it’s the first step to moving forward in credit; re-engaging credit with confidence. Our experience with our excellent STEP instructors has been to build that confidence for our students to re-engage learning.”

The staff use nine essential skills in their curriculum to ensure that students and participants find success after their program. These skills include reading, writing, numeracy, oral communication, working with others, thinking skills, document use, computer use and continuous learning.

“When learners come to us, we work with them to determine what their goal paths are,” said McDonell. “They are either bound for employment, want to finish their secondary school diploma, upgrade to post-secondary education, apprenticeship and independence, meaning they want to work for themselves.”

Despite setting up shop in Embrun, the TR Leger will be an English only program. However, after some success in a smaller location, the team thought it was time to move out to a bigger location.

“We are funded to offer adult education in remote areas. So, we looked at our entire school board and we targeted three places to begin with and now we’re at four,” said McDonell. “Embrun was a site that we thought of in this area. We originally started in September at the library in the elementary school, but that wasn’t a good location. We needed to get out of there and be more visible and that’s why we decided to move.”  

The different work skill courses made available include call centre, cleaner, clerical, day care worker, food counter attendant, health care field, landscaping and grounds maintenance labourer, retail industry, skilled trades, public works and warehouse. 

According to Innes, “if you’re willing to put in the hard work and effort, you’ll certainly find success in our program.”