In November 1985, the Pontiac Business Association set up an External Man-Power Service (EMPS, or SEMO, in French), the SEMO Pontiac, in Fort-Coulonge. This was the strategy chosen by the community to intervene regarding the high unemployment rate of the Pontiac population aged 15 and over, often referred to as “chronic unemployment”.
This program, financed by the Ministère de la Main-d’œuvre et de la Sécurité du revenu (MMSR), was mandated to increase the employability of youth aged 16 to 25.
In the process of becoming the Club de recherche d’emploi du Pontiac (also known as the Pontiac Job Search Club), SEMO Pontiac was located on the second floor of École St-Pierre (33 rue Romain, Fort-Coulonge) from 1985 to 1998 and shared offices with CHIP Community Radio.
The first group consisting of 12 women and 3 men, was welcomed in January 1986. The average age of the group was 21 years old.
In July 1987, Club de recherche d’emploi du Pontiac (CREP) was incorporated as a non-profit organization and was officially recognized in June 1989 by the MMSR as an organization that represents the employment training sector.
The services provided aim to increase the personal, social and financial autonomy of people with particular difficulties, in order to enhance their employability.
1998 is a pivotal year for the CREP, which was moving its facilities from Fort-Coulonge to Campbell’s Bay, in the MRC of Pontiac.
In April 1998, the Ministère de l’Emploi et de la Solidarité granted a subsidy to the CREP for the creation of the Carrefour jeunesse-emploi du Pontiac (CJEP). This is a one-stop-shop for young people between the ages of 16 and 35, bringing together all services and programs geared toward employment, returning to school and the pre-start-up of a business. The CJEP also offered the same services to clients over 35 through the Employments Assistance Services Program, funded by the Campbell’s Bay Local Employment Center (CLE).
A “social economy” type of business can better equip some young people who are severely disadvantaged in terms of employment and often unable to cope with the realities of the job market.
Its primary mission is to create a bridge between the available and potential workforce in the MRC Pontiac and the job market.
For more information, click on PROJECTS – Woodland Advantage/Sortir du bois
In November 2006, the Collectif autonome des Carrefour jeunesse emploi du Québec (CACJEQ) was created following the desire expressed by some CJE to come together in order to fully live a dynamic and constructive community life. The CJE Pontiac is one of the founding members. We wanted to go back to an associative movement based on inclusion, dynamism, construction and mobilization in which we can intervene in a manner reflective of our values. The CACJEQ’s mission is to represent its members in promoting communal autonomy and local development, in order to improve the living conditions of young adults. For more information, visit their website.
In January 2007, the Chantier d’accompagnement jeunesse (SAJ) program joined the many services offered by the Carrefour. These services, funded by the Secrétariat à la jeunesse, allowed us to offer personalized support to young people between the ages of 16 and 17 in addition to raising awareness and developing an entrepreneurial culture among young people between the ages of 7 and 35.
10 years later, the Secrétariat à la jeunesse proposed a new partnership model named Créneau Carrefour jeunesse. In the fall of 2017, we launched this new service model under the name – La Défriche, because to clear (défricher in French), means to advance step by step towards an objective, to persevere, to invest in the construction of something, and in so doing, advance our community.
Through its various parts and components, La Défriche aims to equip young people in developing perseverance at school, personal and social autonomy, entrepreneurship, volunteerism, and involvement in the decision making process of their community. For more information, click on PROJECTS – La Défriche
October 2014, the provincial government announced major changes in the CJE, including the abolition of the basic funding formula by subsidy. On November 28, Minister Blais announced that all of the CJEs accepted the proposed amendments despite widespread opposition.
March 2015, the first agreement transforming CJEP’s mission towards purchase of services was signed between CJEP and the Campbell’s Bay Local Employment Center. Following the signing of the agreement, the CJEP became solution oriented and quickly adapted its procedures to the requirements and limits of the Employment Assistance Services, while continuing to respond to its clientele.
Up to now, the CJEP has been active in the MRC Pontiac and all its staff is committed to providing a personalized service to each one of its clients in a welcoming and engaging manner.