Name: Janna Koopman
Introducing Janna Koopman
Position: Employment Coach at PMFRC Employment Service
Image Source: PMFRC
Tell us more about your role at the PMFRC and the programs that you are involved in.
As an employment coach, I meet with individuals and groups to support them in their job search, and help them to access the programs and services that are available through Employment Ontario. I provide one-on-one coaching, facilitate workshops, attend events, meet with employers and collaborate with other local organizations and community resources.
How long have you worked for the PMFRC?
I’ve struggled with unemployment too, so I understand how difficult it can be. I try to give my clients some hope for the future and some tangible things to work on to help them reach their goals.
I’ve been an employment coach since 2014, and began working with the PMFRC at the end of June 2018.
Tell me about your background (experience, education, etc.)
I grew up in Laurentian Valley and then moved to Southern Ontario to take Psychology and English in University. I had planned to be a teacher, but while in school I realized that teaching would not be for me. I worked in developmental services, daycares, agriculture, retail and sales before moving into a position as an Employment Coach in 2014.
What can people expect to see when they first meet you?
I’m the oldest of six kids and have three of my own, so I tend to be a pretty practical and encouraging coach. I’ve struggled with unemployment too, so I understand how difficult it can be. I try to give my clients some hope for the future and some tangible things to work on to help them reach their goals.
What is your favourite part about working for the PMFRC?
The team at PMFRC Employment Service is collaborative and fun, and we get along amazingly well. I also love how being a part of the PMFRC has opened my eyes to the resources that are available to our military families, and the active and social Petawawa community.
What is your greatest accomplishment or proudest moment working for the PMFRC?
The past year has been a year of change for our office and I’m very proud of the communication and collaboration our team has demonstrated. We have seen a lot of positive results from those changes.
Where are you from and what brought you to Petawawa? How long have you lived here?
My grandparents emigrated from the Netherlands to the Ottawa Valley and I grew up in Alice Township (now Laurentian Valley) just outside of Pembroke. After attending university, I moved back to the area while my husband attended Algonquin College in Pembroke. We now both work in Renfrew County and are raising our three kids close to my parents in Pembroke.
What advice do you have for families transitioning to Petawawa?
It’s surprising how much there is to do in the Petawawa area! Join the local social media groups, attend some of the many events, and ask people about options for sports and activities for your kids. The community here is a welcoming one, and the options for recreation are endless.
What is your favourite thing about living in the area? What is your favourite thing to do in the winter? The summer?
I’m definitely more of a summer person and absolutely LOVE to camp. My parents have some property that we’ve cleared and we spend most of our summer camping there. We play badminton, bocce, board games and card games, invite family and friends, ride bikes and 4-wheelers, and spend a lot of time swatting mosquitos by camp fires.
Leave us with a few words of wisdom -- what is your favourite quote?
“A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there.” ~unknown