Sault Community Career Centre has joined the over 30 Northern Ontario employment agencies who deliver Employment Ontario programs in demonstrating to the government how continued investment in employment centres across the region will result in continued quality supports for Ontarians and businesses across Northern Ontario.
We are experts in employment. Across Northern Ontario, over 30 employment agencies, in centres both large and small, act as essential partners to local businesses. Last year alone (2017-18), our agencies helped 4,217 employers find 11,865 employees. As a sector, we work together to share best practices and strategize to address key issues in the North. Over the last two years, the Sault Community Career Centre has assisted 491 employers in Sault Ste. Marie and district. From April 1, 2016, to March 31, 2018, the Sault Community Career Centre worked with employers to provide over $528,514 to our community in ‘on the job training’ and professional development for employer’s staff.
We are experts in Northern Ontario business. We know the many ways in which life in the North is different because we live and work across this vast geography. We have developed strong relationships with many First Nation communities. We understand the North’s widespread population, long travel times, higher costs of living, and higher rates of poverty and other barriers to employment. Every day, we help businesses overcome these obstacles. More than ever our expert services are needed as the province commits to supporting economic growth and development in the North by cutting through delays and investing in infrastructure.
We help keep the North open for business. When government invests in employment agencies, they are directly supporting the many businesses we work with every day. About 90% of the employers we serve are small and medium-sized businesses. Employers tell us that if it were not for us, they would be forced to leave northern communities. Our relationships run deep. Together, we keep local business thriving, ensuring there is an able and ready workforce. Small and medium-sized businesses underpin the tax base across northern communities. We help to strengthen the economy, ensuring every dollar invested is leveraged and multiplied.
We help reduce long-term unemployment. We get Ontarians into the workforce. While about 23% of those workers who access our services to find jobs are on social assistance, most of the workers we recruit, train, and place in jobs are new to the workforce, right out of Ontario’s colleges, or are re-training mid-career. Because we serve such a wide-range of Ontarians, those on social assistance are placed in jobs right alongside other job seekers—lessening stigma, ensuring employers have all that is needed to meet their needs and getting all Northerners back to work. We support the newly hired for up to a year after employment to see them succeed in the long term.
We are addressing the labour shortage. We close the skills gap, support apprenticeships and promote the skilled trades. The North has a labour shortage and a workforce that is not always job ready—so we help reduce businesses’ hiring and training costs. We act as recruiters. We work with higher education specialists and offer programming to address the urgent skills shortage, in ways that are unique to Northern employers and our workforce. We connect employers with support to train current employees and improve their skills to meet evolving labour needs.
We are the HR department of the North. In the North, there is often nowhere else for a business owner to turn. Many small businesses rely on us to meet their staffing demands. Employment agencies are practical and efficient organizations. In fact, many small businesses in the North come to think of us as their HR department because we reduce their costs and cut through hiring red tape. We develop jobs, craft descriptions, deploy job postings, analyze an entrepreneur’s changing staffing needs, and connect employers with support to train their existing employees. All of this drives the economy, helping businesses stay profitable.
We are efficient and cost-effective. As transfer payment agencies, we have a long track record of demonstrating value for taxpayer dollar. We work efficiently with one another, and our other local partners, to ensure Ontarian’s get maximum value from our services. Also, we are well leveraged – funded by both the Governments of Ontario and Canada, as well as other local sources – to meet the needs of employers across Northern Ontario and to ensure our workforce is skilled and ready for the changing economy.
Sault Community Career Centre and other agencies across Northern Ontario will be speaking with their local political representatives to promote this campaign, and we encourage anyone interested in joining the campaign to reach out to their local employment agency.