Gerry was referred to Insight where he received pre-employment preparation and computer training. They taught him how to interact with and serve customers. He also learned how to use Microsoft Windows and Excel.
“Before this I was scared of computers. I was afraid that any button I pushed would be the wrong one. But they guided me through that pretty well.”

He was a little leery about what would happen after his training, but Insight found him a job at a local feed store. In his new job he does everything from run the till to fix small engines. “What I learned came in good where I’m working now. It was a good program.”

Gerry says the staff at Insight was excellent,” Any problem I had, I brought it to their attention and they got on it pretty quick.”

His advice to others is to take advantage of the services at Insight. “I’ve run into other people who were negative. They may think they can’t do this or they can’t do that. Don’t think you can’t do it because there’s always something for somebody to do. Insight will guide you through it very well.”

Insight Advantage taught Stephane how to use Dragon Naturally Speaking speech recognition software so he could take computer classes at St. Clair College. "Rather than trying to figure things out on my own, they helped me with some of my college courses. It was good to have them as back up."

Stephane really liked the way his training sessions were set up. All students have a room to themselves where they would not be interrupted by having others around. The instructors provided one-on-one personal training that he says was great. “I wouldn’t change them for the world.” He feels that Insight is a good place for anyone to get computer training. “I’d tell them to go because you’ll be amazed at what you will learn.”

Now that he has completed his training at Insight, he is currently in college studying to become an ultrasound technician. He credits all the extras Insight does to explain things for his success. “They are very caring people and were there to cheer me on.”

“Without them I’d probably still be looking for a job,” says June, a former factory worker, of her experience with Insight Enterprises. Although June did have previous work experience in retail, she wanted to find meaningful work that paid well. “I had been making good money at the factory and I wasn’t going to take a step backwards.”

June went to Insight Enterprises for three weeks of job search training. She learned how to prepare her resume, hone her interview skills and target her job search strategies. “They helped me make a resume that promoted what I had done and what I can do.”

While she was taking her job search training, Insight Advantage was looking for a work placement for her. “They got me placement interviews at several different places,” June says. “Before every interview they would sit down with me and practice possible interview questions.”   After several interviews, Insight found June a placement as a receptionist at an insurance agency. “They fought for me to get into a place where I would be there for 12 weeks. They were awesome!”

“The placement gave me the opportunity to learn about the insurance industry and how to process the paperwork,” she explains, “and I found it very interesting.”  She found the work so interesting that she took the RIBO course and got certified. The staff at the agency where she’d been placed kept her informed of job openings and Insight encouraged her to apply. Now that she has her RIBO certificate, she has been hired by her placement agency and they will be training her to sell insurance.

“Insight,” she says, “got me in the door. They are very good at showing you the whole process of how to find a job and how to talk to an employer.”

“When I walked into Insight I was computer illiterate,” reports Richard. He decided to be re-trained and chose the Child and Youth Worker program at St. Clair. To be admitted though, he needed computer skills.
 “I haven’t been to school in years and had to do some upgrading,” says Richard. Insight Enterprises worked with Richard for nearly six months while he did his upgrading classes. “Insight taught me what I needed to know like how to open documents, file management and organization. If it wasn’t for that, I would have been lost.”

“I blew out my shoulder so my arm doesn’t work well for long periods of time,” explains Richard. “They taught me how to use Dragon Speak, which is phenomenal. That in itself was worth everything. It is a life saver. With not being able to use my arms, being able to talk into the computer and tell it to do things, whether search the web or move to a different document, is amazing. The fact that I could talk into a computer is fascinating to me.”

Richard says his instructors at Insight were great and he learned quickly, “They were very patient and calm. Any questions I had they would answer. I didn't even know how to turn a computer on and all of a sudden I was making documents, going on the web and searching things.”

He believes Insight’s support and encouragement is responsible for his success in his upgrading classes and his first semester in college. “I aced my grade 11 computer class because of them. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have passed. I had a hard time keeping up but Insight opened up my mind to where I could grasp it. It was still hard for me, but I understood it because of them.” He says he didn’t expect to do well in college but, “shockingly, I got four As and a B. My first computer class I got 100%.”

“Everybody at Insight was awesome. I went into there with little confidence. They got me through it and helped my confidence level. They were uplifting and it was a pleasure to work with them.”

“The placement person we have is awesome with customers,” says Jason Dilado, manager of a Canadian Tire Gas Bar. As a manager, he knows the importance of good customer service and he has been very pleased with the two placements he has had from Insight Advantage.

Mr. Diladio has the placement workers do everything involved in running a self-serve gas bar and convenience store – from stocking the shelves to running the cash and lottery machines. “Both placements worked out very well,” he adds, “I’m pleased with how good they are with customers.”

Insight sent a job coach to work on-site with the placements. He feels this on-site support really helped with integrating the placement person into the work environment.
Though they were fully staffed at the time they had their first placement person, they have recently been able to hire the second person that was placed with them. Overall he says working with Insight has been good and he hopes to continue working with them in the future. “I would absolutely take another placement. Anytime Insight calls with another candidate, I would definitely check them out.”

Computers For Kids is a registered charity that provides free refurbished computers to children from low-income families. Chris Davies, manager of Computers For Kids, works closely with Insight Enterprises. “I'm involved with Insight quite frequently. I hear from them just about every week.” They’ve accepted two placements from Insight Advantage.  He says, “The placements that we've had have helped us put out a lot of computers that we've might not been able to otherwise.”
The placement personnel have trained their volunteers to diagnose and troubleshoot computer problems, install software and repair operating systems and have become an excellent part of their staff.

“Both placements have been very professional and very easy to deal with. They pretty much fit like a glove as part of the team. I've actually been impressed with that because that was one of my worries, but it's been seamless,” reports Davis. “I've already expressed to them that if they have any more people to place, I'd be willing to accept another placement.”

“Being a charity we have limited funding but with the first placement, we realized his importance was so great that we found some money to hire him. Should funding improve, Insight would be the first place I would look to hire again.”

Mr. Davis says, “Insight has been very helpful in helping us help the community. It's been very much appreciated. They've done a lot of good work.”

Elizabeth wanted to take online university courses, but her computer knowledge was limited to getting her email, shopping and logging on to Facebook. Before she could enrol in classes, she needed to upgrade her computer skills, so it was arranged for her to take eight weeks of computer training with Insight Advantage.

“I wasn't looking forward to it and I thought, gosh, I've got to go here four days a week for two months and I just couldn't picture doing it. But my first day they were so nice to me, it made me want to go back.”
Insight Advantag taught her how to use MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. With Dragon Naturally Speaking she learned how to navigate on the Internet. “I know what I'm doing now,” says Elizabeth. “My teacher is wonderful. She is so good and she's very encouraging, which helps you to learn. She gives you time to think. She doesn't just jump right in and say this is how you do it. She lets you think about it. She's just really good.”

Looking back on her time with Insight Advantage she adds, “It's been a good experience; a wonderful experience to the point where I was excited to go back. I was going four days a week, three hours a day and I was excited to go. They made it a good experience. I'm 40 and have been out of school a very long time but they've been so encouraging. I just can't say enough nice things about them.”

Michael attended the Financial Management Program at St. Clair College. When he graduated from that program, he came to Insight Enterprises to improve his job search skills.

Insight Advantage helped Michael write his resume and cover letter. They also taught him job search techniques and how to communicate with employers. Based on his skills, Insight Enterprises landed him a two-month job placement.

When asked if Insight Advantage helped him reach his employment goals he said, “Oh, for sure. For sure they did. Right now the placement is very much right in my field. I'm hopefully going to get hired.”

Michael believes Insight Enterprises can help other people too. “I think they can benefit. The job search techniques that they use to get employers to look at you and not just pass you by are crucial especially right now in the economy.”

“It was a great experience”, Michael says about the help he received from Insight Advantage. “They were really friendly, really down to earth and helpful. It was excellent.”

Insight Advantage didn't find a job for Derek, he found one on his own thanks to the job search techniques he learned in his training with Insight.

He needed help with his resume, job search and interview skills and Derek credits Insight Advantage for his success.

“They helped me a lot. They had lots of job leads and set up job interviews”, explains Derek. “I learned how to present myself and they gave me the confidence to go to job interviews.”

He thinks Insight Advantage is a great program. “If I ever lose my job I know I can count on them to help me find another job.”

Credit Counselling Services of Southwestern Ontario wouldn't normally put a work placement candidate in a front-line position, but when Insight Advantage called about a candidate with a unique set of skills, they agreed to an eight-week placement.

Credit Counselling Services of Southwestern Ontario is a non-profit agency that helps people achieve financial fitness and Insight believed their candidate had the training and credentials to be a good fit. Executive Director, Wendy Dupuis, agreed, “Because we're in the counselling industry and it is a unique position, we really require unique individuals and he just fit that bill very well.”

“Insight was very helpful in ensuring that he was placed and ensuring that the communication flowed well between us. They were very good about explaining how the placement would work and what his credentials were. He came to me with full documentation. I didn't have to chase anything up, so it made the transition for me very easy. It made the placement very easy,” said Dupuis.

Ms. Dupuis was so satisfied with the candidate Insight Enterprises found, that she subsequently hired him.

Of her experience with Insight Advantage Dupuis concluded, “It was very positive. I was thankful to have the opportunity to work with Insight. If I had an opening for a candidate, I certainly would consider picking up the phone and calling Insight first.”

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