The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre (DRUHC) is a non-profit organization established in 1983 with locations in Oshawa and Pickering. DRUHC is dedicated to assisting unemployed or underemployed individuals to meet their employment goals, and assisting employers in meeting their hiring and training needs.
Renowned for the high level of client success and outstanding customer service, DRUHC has a high success rate in assisting job seekers and employers.
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre embraces, supports, and continually strives to reflect the rich diversity of our community. We are committed to demonstrating leadership in an inclusive workforce that creates a welcoming, safe space for our clients, where professional working relationships are built on respect.
We understand the importance of and Canada’s reliance on newcomers to grow our economy. Our programs and services include those that facilitate newcomers’ successful settlement into our communities.
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre’s professional Employment Counselling staff are dedicated to assisting job seekers in meeting their career objectives either through employment or building on their education/training.
Our team of dedicated Employment Specialists connect with employers daily to determine the skills and hiring needs of business to grow their organizations.
Our friendly and helpful reception and resource staff assist and direct clients to the people, organizations and information that is needed for successful outcomes.
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre embraces the diversity of our community. We understand the importance and reliance of Canada on newcomers to grow our economy. We are committed to demonstrating leadership in an inclusive workforce.
Our highly skilled, educated professional staff of individuals, some originating from international countries and collectively speaking several languages.
During the Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre’s 37th Annual General Meeting, a significant announcement was made regarding leadership at DRUHC.
Pam DeWilde and Julie Marleau-Soucy are Co-Executive Directors. Together, they are leading DRUHC through significant change.
In collaboration with the board, staff, employers, job seekers, community partners, and stakeholders, Pam and Julie are working diligently to advance the mission of DRUHC and support the Durham community.
From small to big changes, DRUHC is getting an overhaul including a new website and a fresh coat of blue paint at our 272 King Street East location in Oshawa.
What remains the same is the high standard of service quality at the heart of this organization.
Co-Executive Directors, Julie Marleau-Soucy & Pam DeWilde
Board of Directors
Vision, Mission & Core Values
Envisioning a skilled and adaptive workforce that fuels a vibrant and inclusive Durham economy.
Identifying and delivering integrated and inclusive services that support a diverse community of job seekers and employers, and adapt to labour market needs and trends.
Diversity and Inclusion
We value, respect and appreciate individuals’ differences as well as acknowledge the barriers that many people face. We continually work to improve accessibility and inclusion in our programs and services, and within the organization, by listening, learning and adapting.
At DRUHC we operate with integrity, honesty and transparency with our clients, our partners and with each other.
For us, professionalism is maintaining a standard of excellence in our service delivery while meeting the obligations of our funders and community stakeholders. We are reliable and competent in delivering on our mission and committed to achieving our vision.
We recognize the unique strengths, assets and vulnerabilities of our clients. We honour their dignity by using empathy, compassion and respect to help them in achieving their goals.
- Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD)
- Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Pickering Welcome Centre
Welcome Centre Immigrant Services, with locations in Pickering and Ajax, provide a one-stop service under one roof designed to guide and support newcomers through the maze of available information and resources. Services include language assessment and language training, settlement services and assistance in finding employment.
Durham Welcome Centres
- Durham District School Board
Durham Catholic District School Board
- To Provide Relevant and Timely Services to Newcomers in a Single, Accessible Location
- To Engage the Community to Partner Collaboratively in Welcoming Newcomers to the Region
- To Utilize Our Resources to Support Community Driven Priorities and Initiatives
- To Demonstrate Our Respect for and Sensitivity to Newcomers
- To Provide the Essential Programs and Activities that Complement and Support Each Other to Reflect and Meet the Needs of Newcomers
- To Maintain a Culturally Sensitive and Linguistically Sensitive Environment
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre first started in February of 1983. The reason for the centre was not related to employment but came from an idea from Bob White’s office.
Bob White, a prominent leader in the Canadian trade union and labour movement*, recognized that many individuals were not connected to a union and did not have the assistance they needed to obtain benefits from Workers Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, Social Services, Canada Pension, etc.
Concerned with the rights of all workers, Bob contacted local unions and asked them if they would organize agencies that could assist non-unionized workers. This is how the centre began.
When the board first started the help centre, it was not anticipated that the service would be long-lasting. The sense was that it might be operational for a short duration, perhaps 10 years. The agency continued with advocacy for the first 5-7 years. Due to the recession during that period, employment was by far the service that most people needed assistance with and the centre shifted its focus to provide employment services.
Here we are, more than 35 years later and the need for employment resources and services is greater than ever.
- Oshawa Location
- 150 people walked through the doors of the help centre for assistance
- Staff of 4
2013 – 35 Year Anniversary
- 3 Locations: Oshawa, Pickering, Welcome Centre
- 25,000 visitors a year
- Staff of 40+
*More on Bob White
Bob White advocated for social justice and fair-trade labour practices on a national and global level.
- 1959: President of U.A.W. (Canada)
- 1985: Formed and became 1st Leader of the C.A.W.
- 1992: President of the Canadian Labour Congress
Excerpted from a 2013 interview with former Executive Director, Maralyn Tassone.
Standards & Policies
Quality Service Standards
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre is committed to providing high quality customer service that is; Timely, Comprehensive, and Professional.
- We respect that your time is valuable: you will not wait longer than 10 minutes for a pre-scheduled appointment
- Clients eligible for Counselling Services will be booked in to see a Counsellor within 10 business days
- Workshop participants are guaranteed entry into the next available workshop of the same topic
- Telephone calls will be returned by the end of the next business day
We are committed to providing a high standard of service that is inclusive to all community members, customer focused, current, flexible and changes according to needs reflected by our service users, community and labour market.
Our staff will provide professional service that:
- Maintains the integrity and confidentiality of all service users
- Treats all individuals respectfully and in a non-judgmental manner
- Creates a welcoming, accessible, and supportive environment
We are committed to continuously improving our services in utilizing a comprehensive quality management system in support of this goal.
Your thoughts, concerns and feedback (both positive and negative) are very important to us.
To provide us with your feedback, please:
- Speak directly with one of our members of staff
- Contact us via phone, mail, or e-mail email@example.com
- Complete a feedback form on our contact page
- Complete a feedback form at one of our locations
We will respond within 7 business days.
If our acknowledgement/response does not meet with your satisfaction, please let us know and one of our Executive Directors will respond within an additional 10 business days.
Read ‘Our Commitment to Respecting and Maintaining Your Privacy’ Policy. Click here.
Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre is committed to accessible, high-quality service to all service users including people requiring accommodation.
Please read DRUHC’s Accessible Customer Service Plan.
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre has put policies into practice as required by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).
Please read DRUHC’s Accessibility Policy.
The Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre is a Positive Space.
Positive Spaces are welcoming environments where those identifying with LGBTQ++ are able to access inclusive services with dignity and respect.
Where services are offered free from discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, and gender expression.
Everyone can work to create Positive Spaces.
Durham Region Land Acknowledgement
We are currently located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange among the Mississauga Peoples, and is the traditional and treaty territory of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. We honour, recognize and respect this nation and Indigenous Peoples as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.