Labour and United Way of the Alberta Capital Region share the goal of making the community a healthy place to live, work and raise a family. Our partnership was formalized in 1978, when the United Way signed an agreement with the Edmonton and District Labour Council to have a Labour Coordinator on staff working for and with organized labour. Today that partnership is reflected in the Labour Participation Committee, the Labour Community Advocate program, and a tradition of activity by unionist volunteers that contributes to the United Way’s success.
Labour Community Advocate Program
The Labour Movement was built on the principle of people helping people. And the Labour Community Advocate Program provides an avenue for union members to help their brothers and sisters who have job related or personal problems. Initiated by the Canadian Labour Congress, the program has been offered by United Way in major Canadian cities since 1978.
Graduates of the program offer guidance, referrals and information to co-workers about problems related to drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, housing, personal finance, and domestic violence.
Through the two-part training course, Labour Community Advocates learn about services and programs available in the Capital Region. They develop communication and interviewing skills. Then, if requested, they can refer co-workers to a community agency with professionals on staff who are trained to offer counselling or other assistance.
Each year’s graduates are celebrated at the annual Labour Appreciation Night.
Jim Shewchuk Award
The Jim Shewchuk Award was established in 1984 to recognize an Edmonton and District Labour Council member for outstanding contributions to the Union, the community and United Way. It is presented at the Labour Appreciation Night, an annual banquet co-hosted by the EDLC and United Way. The event acknowledges and celebrates Labour’s achievements – not only in the presentation of the award but by recognizing the previous year’s graduates of the Union Counselling Program for their commitment to their co-workers.