John Howard Society of Ottawa

Pre-Employment Training

PET Skills (Skills Plus)

PET Skills helps to achieve education, training and employment goals by offering services that assist in improving reading, writing, numeracy and computer skills. Instruction is offered through individualized learning and small group workshops. This program offers flexible times and allows individuals to work at their own pace.

PET Links (ACELinks)

PET links is a part-time, academic upgrading program that prepares for post-secondary college education, apprenticeship, and work. Courses lead to the Academic and Career Entrance (ACE) certificate which is recognized by community colleges, apprenticeships and employers. This program offers individualized learning delivered by an Algonquin College teacher and a transition coach to help identify career goals and develop a plan for further training and/or employment.

PET Pass (Equi-Pass)

PET Pass offers individualized online instruction in basic computer skills, use of the Internet, e-mail and Microsoft Office applications.

Services provided:

  • On-line computer skills upgrading program
  • Independent learning at individual pace

PET Reach (Outreach)

These free programs respond to an identified need in the community for “drop-in” literacy services for those who do not wish to register in a formalized program. It is open to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including individuals living in poverty, facing mental health issues and/or learning disabilities. The focus of the program is on skill acquisition and the provision of literacy help to those that do not ordinarily have access to any educational services. It also provides employment preparation and job search assistance.

  • Cornerstone Women’s Shelter – WISE -Women Increasing Skills for Employment
  • Centre 454 – LEAFS-Literacy & Employment Access for Survival
  • Shepherds of Good Hope-Enhanced Supports Program – LifeWorks!


The ARCHES Program connects individuals who have mental health and addiction issues back to the workforce. Clients who are ready for employment are assisted with searching and applying for jobs and with maintaining their positions as part of their healthy recovery. For others, the support needed is more preparatory, and is determined on an individualized basis, using a supportive model approach. The Program also engages in broader community development activities and works along with other organizations to break down stigmas about mental health and to remove the barriers and discrimination that people in recovery frequently face.

Location: Meadow Creek, Royal Ottawa Hospital & Anchorage, Salvation Army

Money Savvy

This Financial Literacy Program targets low income and economically disadvantaged persons in Ottawa in order to help them develop skills, knowledge and confidence in financial issues. Our objective is to make our audience comfortable with making financial decisions that build towards a more positive future. We use innovative methods that our clients can access readily and help them grow their personal financial capabilities. “Buck-Up!” incorporates personal mentoring to help develop skills for managing money on a daily basis and also help to plan for future financial needs.

Location: JHS Main Office, JHS Residences, Shepherds of Good Hope, The Ottawa Mission

Buckle Up! Feel Better About Your Finances

Early Intervention Employment Skills Training

This program provides services to individuals participating in Drug Treatment Court. The program explores the employment and education readiness of the participants and identifies barriers and strengths that exist. The main goal of the program is to equip clients with the necessary skills for employment, education and life. The program delivery incorporates group learning and one on one support.

Location: Rideauwood Addiction & Family Services

In-House > Helping Communities Help Each Other

This program provides on-site literacy services, including “survival” literacy skills, life skills, communication skills & pre-employment skills training. Volunteers work collaboratively with our Outreach Literacy Worker to help build a stronger community.

Location: Lowertown Good Neighbours Community House


Contact Information for all PET Programs

Contact: Jan Goatcher

Phone: (613) 789-7418 ext. 226

PET Programs are funded by the Ministry of Training Colleges & Universities, United Way and Social Enterprise and Development Initiative (SEDI)/TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund