OFE is a faith-based not-for-profit corporation providing employment assistance services in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Our earliest roots started in 1996 after Art and Leona DeFehr returned home to Winnipeg from a trip to the U.S. While there, they had become aware of America Works, an organization that uses an incentive-based business model to help low income people find jobs.
Interested to know if this model could be replicated in Manitoba, the DeFehrs gave some promotional material about America Works to Garry Loewen, then the head of MCC Manitoba’s Employment Concerns program. With help from Eden Heath Care Services, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC Manitoba) and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA – Winnipeg Chapter), and through a contract with the Manitoba Government for a two-year pilot project, Opportunities for Employment Inc. was born.
Now over 20 years later, more than 27,000 people in Winnipeg have found employment as a result of OFE’s work. OFE continues to grow and diversify to meet the changing needs of the Winnipeg labour market and the demographics of Winnipeg job seekers.
As a leader in research and innovation in the employment development field, OFE continues to pioneer entrepreneurial and incentive-based approaches to employment services, resulting in increased employment rates, growth and productivity in our local economy, reduced reliance on social supports and lower costs to the Manitoba government.