About Us

The Working Centre was established in the spring of 1982 as a response to unemployment and poverty in downtown Kitchener. The Centre grew roots in the Kitchener downtown through the dedication of Joe and Stephanie Mancini, a young married couple who had just graduated from St. Jerome’s College at the University of Waterloo. They saw the potential for building a community of interest around responding to unemployment and poverty, developing social analysis and engaging in creative action.

The Working Centre relied on two community animators at Global Community Centre – Margaret Nally and Patrice Rietzel for support, direction and organizational development. Eventually a board of directors was established and the centre’s projects began to develop.

In Ken Westhues book The Working Centre, Experiment in Social Change, he describes the centre in this way. “Two decades later, it has survived as an independent instrument of self-help community development, and has woven itself into the fabric of Kitchener-Waterloo. It has also achieved a certain maturity, coherence and confidence in its approach to work and unemployment and in its conception of itself.”

The Working Centre’s main projects give people access to tools to create their own work combined with continuous ways of learning and co-operating. The Working Centre organizes its projects into six areas; the Job Search Resource Centre, St. John’s Kitchen, Community Tools, Access to Technology, Affordable Supportive Housing and the Waterloo School for Community Development.

The Working Centre is a nonprofit organization with charitable status that is governed by a Board of Directors. This group of dedicated individuals typically serve the organization in this capacity for five to ten years. Our mode of operation is the building of relationships and trust where each member becomes involved in one or two aspects of the Centre’s work in a way that develops first hand knowledge and understanding. We have been fortunate to be served by individuals who have provided long-term stability and foresight for the Centre.

The Board members include:
  • President: Carol Taylor
  • Vice President:  Kevin Kalbfleisch
  • Treasurer: Darren Denomme
  • Secretary: Wendy Czarny
  • Asnake Dabala
  • Eunice Valenzuela
  • Funke Oba
  • Don Gingerich

Visit our Ideas and Influences and Influential Thinkers pages for some of the ideas and people who have shaped our work.

Our sources of income include:

Contact Information

For more information about The Working Centre, please contact us.

Email: genmail@theworkingcentre.org
Phone: (519) 743-1151

58 Queen St. S.
Kitchener, Ontario
N2G 1V6

Fax: (519) 743-9452


For information about paid and free parking near the Working Centre, view our map.

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