Initiative will Provide First Nation Citizens with Stepping Stones

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Anishinabek Training

Anishinabek TrainingTHUNDER BAY – Anishinabek Employment and Training Services (AETS) in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care Group and Confederation College, are proud to announce the launch of the Food Services Worker (FSW) and Personal Support Worker (PSW) Training Programs. The collaboration will engage up to 44 Aboriginal Learners from nine North Superior Region First Nation communities. Aboriginal Learners will be gathered for training leading to employment in the health sector, which will involve a tailored skills pathway towards employment.

The spring programs start on May 2, 2016 with accommodations and meals provided. The culturally aware and responsive program also involves an Elder, Facilitators/ Instructors, a Program Co-ordinator and regular monitors to assist each of the learners. Graduates will receive a FSW and PSW certificate and other related qualifications from Confederation College and/or other stakeholder partners, in order to become eligible for transition to employment immediately upon successful completion of the program.

“This initiative will provide First Nation Citizens with the stepping stones required to build skills and gain the knowledge needed to realize their career goals and dreams. It’s important that we continue to be the leader in the development of training programs that meet the needs of the First Nation communities we serve,” said John DeGiacomo, Executive Director of AETS.“

Mutually beneficial partnerships like this one with St. Joseph’s Care Group and Confederation College will increase First Nation self reliance and contribute to ongoing improvements to the overall well being of First Nation individuals, families and communities in Northwestern Ontario. AETS and its partners were successfully at securing the funding for the program through the Aboriginal Education Office of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.

Food services careers
Food services careers

“This is an extraordinary example of how organizations can collaborate to serve the healthcare needs of northwestern Ontario. Due to the vision and leadership of AETS in establishing this mutually beneficial agreement, the programming will provide learners with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in a new career.  This investment in education and training for the AETS communities, particularly for their youth, is critical to meeting the needs of the healthcare sector and supporting economic growth in the region,” said Don Bernosky, Vice President of Regional Workforce Development at Confederation College.

Upon completion of either program, graduates will receive an employer recognized certificate and will then be considered eligible for employment in the health care sector. “St. Joseph’s Care Group is proud to be a partner in this program which takes a holistic approach to training: mind, body and spirit. As our population ages and demand increases, this is an opportunity to pursue a fulfilling career, where you can help people live with dignity and respect,” said Tracy Buckler, President and CEO, of St. Joseph’s Care Group.

“First Nation, Métis and Inuit learners deserve equal access to high quality postsecondary education and skills training programs to support successful entry into the labour market. The Targeted Initiatives Fund projects, such as Anishinabek Employment and Training Services’ Food Services Worker and Personal Support Worker Training Programs, will help provide students with direct educational opportunities as well as initiatives that support learning environments that are anchored in the diverse cultural and linguistic traditions of Indigenous communities,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities.

“Opportunities such as the Target Initiatives Fund (TIF) offered through the Aboriginal Education Office (AEO) allow our organization to fulfill a labour market demand with our citizens. Through our partnership with Confederation College and St. Joseph’s Care Group, AETS was successful in securing $629,430 through this program. The overwhelming support from this program eliminates barriers many of our participants face in terms of education/training opportunities. AETS eagerly awaits the success of this initiative and the benefits our citizens will receive”, said Mandy Price, Proposal & Partnership Development Officer of AETS.

“We know there is a vast demand for Personal Support Workers and Food Service Workers in and around the Thunder Bay area. It is our hope that all of our participants will secure meaningful employment upon completion of the program they choose.

Participants will enter into either the Personal Support Worker or Food Service Worker Training program, and when they are finished they have many different pathways which they can take – entrepreneurship, employment, or further post-secondary education.” said Hailey Watson, Program Co-ordinator of AETS.

Sencia Canada LtdCulturally-appropriate academic and workplace supports are provided to participants through mentorship, guidance and additional supports as required.

The program launch is occurring at the same time of the new AETS Website launch, which was done in collaboration with Sencia Canada and Firedog Communications.

“Majority of online user’s access websites from their mobile devices. We created a mobile friendly website for AETS that consistently and seamlessly meets their needs and accommodates all their clients’ web surfing preferences. Powered by our SIMS Content Management System, AETS staff have the ability to keep it current and up to date with all their programs and services offerings”, said Joe Quaresima, Systems Director of Sencia Canada Limited.

“Our team at Firedog Communications was delighted to work with AETS to showcase these significant entrepreneurial success stories from across the region. We believe that Entrepreneurship Pathways shares inspiring stories of challenge, opportunity and achievement that can motivate people of all ages and backgrounds,” said Kristina Baraskewich, Account Manager of Firedog Communications.

“On behalf of the AETS Board, it is with extreme pride that we are able to launch another two new training programs and also introduce our new enhanced Website to serve our First Nation Citizens”, said Ray Nobis, President of AETS.

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