Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce has plan to tackle youth unemployment in region
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Ryerson University and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce to help turn the tide on youth unemployment and address the skills gap. The Chamber is announcing Magnet, a leading‐edge networking platform that will help employers in Sault Ste. Marie connect with recent graduates and qualified candidates.
The Magnet network has one goal: to ensure that individuals within its network are matched to
promising job opportunities and that organizations connect to qualified candidates.
With Magnet, businesses can create profiles and search qualified talent within Sault Ste. Marie and
beyond. This effective, accurate, and efficient way works to match these candidates’ qualifications and
interests with employers’ skills requirements.
“Magnet can be used by any employer but was designed with a focus on the needs of small‐ andmedium‐
sized employers (SMEs),” notes Mark Barsanti, President of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of
Commerce. “We feel that this is going to make Magnet a very attractive and powerful tool for our own
local employers, most of which fall into that category of business.”
Magnet is built upon revolutionary networking technology developed through Ryerson University’s
Digital Media Zone.
“It is important to have communities like Sault Ste. Marie contribute to the Magnet network,” says
Sheldon Levy, President and Vice Chancellor of Ryerson University. “By working together to build the
network as a hub for making connections and discovering opportunities, we are helping to address
unemployment and underemployment in the province.”
The Magnet network currently includes 18 universities and colleges across Ontario, representing over
500,000 students and graduates, the network of chambers of commerce and boards of trade throughout
Ontario, representing 60,000 employers and two million jobs, and over 30 labour‐ and opportunitybased
“Ontario’s employers are telling us that they’re finding it difficult to connect with workers that have the skills they need. Magnet is not only going to address this barrier by connecting businesses with the right candidates, but also by creating youth employment opportunities across the province—it’s a win‐win scenario,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce.
Barsanti adds: “Everybody involved and supporting the launch of this new initiative came together
based on a shared desire to improve the employment outlook for youth, the under‐employed, new
immigrants and people transitioning to new careers. Additionally, we also recognize that with 45.9% of
businesses in Sault Ste. Marie that responded to a recent Ontario Chamber of Commerce survey,
claiming to have had difficulty hiring someone with the right qualifications, there is need to provide
tools that will help these businesses make that match and keep them competitive and viable.”
The Magnet network officially launches in early October.