NCDS undergoes slate of changes

Bryce Forbes

Out with the old, in with the new.
Starting this past Tuesday, the Northern Community Development Society underwent a few changes involving their old Job Connect Program and new Job Marching, Placement and Incentive program.
“Under the new Employment Ontario model, changes will include the wind down of the Job Connect Program which mainly targeted youth,” said Jennifer Greenhalgh, NCDS executive director.
“The new Employment Ontario model will give NCDS the opportunity to provide broader programming with enhanced services available to all ages—in fact, what the Ministry calls a ‘Full Suite Service and One Stop service,’” she added.
“Ontarians will now be able to access all the employment and training programs and services they need to find one location,” said John Milloy, Minister of Training Colleges and Universities, via press release.
“This change is part of the McGuinty government’s Open Ontario plan, which will better serve clients and give Ontario the most highly skilled and educated workforce in the world.”
However with the change, people will see very little change from the everyday services of the NCDS.
“Locally, this will not have any real impact on our NCDS clients as we have been successfully providing a wide range of services at the same accessible location for over 35 years,” said Greenhalgh.
“However, in the rest of the Kenora District, clients have had to seek out various service providers to get the same access and support for services and programs.
“On the street most people won’t see a perceptible change. What has happened now is that we are now on a life computer system that is province wide and people can track people right across the province when they move across the province.
“We will have access to information because, more often than not, this was a problem for our clients when they moved around in Ontario. But that won’t complicate their lives any more,” she added.
“It was primarily a youth access program that was directed at youth between 15 and 24. This one is for everyone and available to all Ontarians, not just youth.”
In the end, Greenhalgh sees this as imperative progress for the NCDS.
“It’s now an important step forward for us and we are the leaders in the Rainy River District with the largest agency for employment and training,” she explained. “It’s not like we haven’t always been but with this contract, it now confirms that.”
For more information, check out NCDS at 300 Scott St. or via telephone at 274-2084.