For the past few months, it appears that many companies and small businesses are on the look out, for new employees.  From the various employment agencies and local not for profits, like your Chamber of Commerce, there appears to be a surge in companies looking to attract both trained and new entrants into the job world.  Professionals, experienced workers and new entrants to employment are being sought and that is a good thing for our District.

One such event is the Job Fair taking place at City Hall tomorrow, Wednesday November 7, from 10: a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  The event, held by the Nipissing Employment Services Table or NEST, will host over a dozen employers hoping to match their required needs with persons who are out of work, rejoining the work force, or under-employed persons, wishing to change or move on.  The initiative which has been led by Joe Bradbury and his team at the District of Nipissing Social Service Administration Board and championed by their many partners in our district, continues to look at alternate ways to ensure, those that want to work, have opportunities.

For the past number of years, The North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce has worked with the DNSSAB on a project known as “Get Trained Workers”.  The objective of the program was to assist persons who were receiving Ontario Works benefits and to get them ready for employment.  When they are ready to enter the employment world, their specific skills which have been identified, are attempted to be matched with employers who are looking for those skills.  To date, over 140 persons have been matched.  Hats off to Carol Porter and the team at DNSSAB together with Patti Carr, VP Policy and Communications at the Chamber, for an outstanding job.  Visit them at the Job Fair Tuesday.

On Friday of last week, Charles Elliott, Chair of NBDCC and myself, attended the Grand Opening at The Village which is the latest addition to Canadore College.  During the opening, President George Burton of Canadore College, looked back on how this new facility came to become a reality.  The idea of a facility that could provide an experiential learning opportunity for students and provide a multi-disciplined health care and wellness centre of excellence for our communities, was born.  Over a period of four to five years and after exhaustive consultation with so many communities, partners and staff, it came to fruition.

The facility will provide a combination of Eastern, Western and Indigenous healing, under one roof.  Phase one of the project, unveiled last week, will provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice new, old and traditional healing with the end goal of healthier communities.  This will be the first of its type and combination in Canada and is hoped that this will be a model for others to follow.  To Canadore College, the First Nations Communities, Faculty, Staff, students and the generous donors who have made this a reality, thank you.  It is a new era in education and wellness.

Peter Chirico is the President & CEO of the North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce.