Thirteen women from the janitorial skills and mentorship program received graduation certificates at a luncheon on Friday afternoon at Abbotsford Community Services (ACS).
The program, funded by a $5,000 grant from CIBC, prepared the participants to become a janitor or janitorial assistant. It was offered through the Employment Mentors’ Program at Abbotsford Community Services and was open to immigrant women.
The three-month program included presentations by guest speakers, workshops, training in the applicable skills, and practicum placements.
The last time the program was offered was in 2009, and it is hoped that funding can be secured to offer it again.
Some graduates of the program are now hoping to start their own businesses, while others will be hired by existing companies.
Pat Christie, co-ordinator of the ACS Employment Mentors’ Program, said the participants came from challenging and difficult backgrounds.
“If some of our population only went through some of the experiences and hoops that these women have endured, I believe we would be more humble human beings,” she said.
Among those attending the luncheon were representatives from CIBC, The Co-operators and ACS.
The graduates were: Harpreet Bains, Thoria Ali, Shehnajdeep Bath, Mery Dango (in photo at left with daughter Holly, 2), Laxmi Gujar, Harminder Hans, Gurmeet Jawanda, Manjinder Johal, Ramanjit Madaha, Ajak Kuot, Miriam Mutinda, Jaswinder Nigah and Baljit Padda.