We were flattening the curve before it became a thing.

flatten the curve

English is a rich language, constantly changing and growing with new words and expressions.

Some we can do without (we’re looking at you, “murder hornets”). Others become cliché very quickly (just try using the word “pivot” around our Director of Human Resources). But many quickly gain acceptance and become a part of society’s vernacular.

Before this pandemic, expressions like “flattening the curve” and “social distancing” would have been met with puzzled looks from your peers. Prospect, however, has been flattening Alberta’s curve for years. Since 2015, Alberta has uncharacteristically had a higher rate of unemployment than many parts of Canada. Flattening that curve has been our mission, particularly for people who face barriers to employment.

As unemployment levels reach heights not seen since the Great Depression, our fight has become intensified. Moving all our services online happened more swiftly and effectively than we could have imagined. Our dedicated staff is still educating, prepping, placing and supporting Albertans with respect to the labour market. In some areas they’re handling more contacts than ever. Since the pandemic began we have placed dozens of people into new jobs.

One recent success saw us help a person who was trapped abroad due to travel restrictions. Our peer support helped alleviate their anxiety. Once back in Canada, the individual found that social distancing was impeding completion of their post-secondary program. But with the help of a Prospect Career Advisor, the individual persuaded an employer in their desired field to hire them into a paid position where they could finish learning through on-the-job training.

While many of the stories these days seem to be about dire topics (we’re looking at you, “murder hornets”) there are a lot of positive stories too. Just last week three Prospect program participants who went through our Career Links program decided to pay it forward and volunteer their services as Peer Navigators.

We are grateful to everyone who is working to flatten Alberta’s unemployment curve. We may never ‘put ourselves out of business’, but we’ll never stop trying.