Present: Jessica Busch, WORC; Dave Gray CEDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson; Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Courtney Rizzo, CDO Kearney, Magnetawan, McMurrich Monteith, Perry; David Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley-Stewart, Cottage Pain Clinic.
Thank you to the Township of McMurrich/Monteith for hosting this month’s meeting.
There was discussion amongst the group in regards to the updated Terms of Reference. Karen inquired as to where the code of conduct had arisen from. Dave G. responded that the code of conduct is meant to promote an open and positive atmosphere along with an efficient information sharing process. In the effort to clarify AHED’s function and purpose along with bringing more people to the table, a restructuring is needed. There must be a driving force/purpose beyond simple information sharing and occasional letters of support for local initiatives. Karen suggested that a conflict resolution process be undertaken should breaches in the code of conduct occur, again to promote open sharing and co-operation as Karen stated there will always be conflict and differences of opinion – respecting diverse opinions adds to a valuable group conversation. Dave. G will look into a conflict resolution process. The idea of incorporating into a non-profit was also discussed at the table which would be something to look into but only after the restructuring/refocusing has taken place and AHED is able to function as an advocate for economic development. The Terms of Reference will be revisited at the next meeting after amendments and perhaps moving into the next year, be a working document that could be refined.
Next Steps for the restructuring of AHED include:
1) Finalize new Terms of Reference.
2) Complete a comprehensive review of Strategic Plans across Almaguin including the BR&E report recently presented.
3) Establish a document of areas of responsibility – Guiding Principles (in broad terms) along with a 2 – 3 year strategic component.
Over the next month, prior to the next meeting, Dave G will gather relevant strategic plans and documents from the Almaguin Highlands region. At the November AHED meeting, the group will discern which documents need to be included in the review and establish a sub-committee to do so.
Karen Insley Stewart/Cottage Pain Clinic
No report this month.
Carol Armstrong/McMurrich Monteith
Carol reported that she was in attendance at a local fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity which took place at Highlander Brew Co. in South River – very well attended and enjoyed by all. The Township’s ‘Spooky Walk’ takes place on Saturday October 29th on the Trails located behind the Community Centre/Township Office – there will be both a children’s walk through and an adults walk through.
Courtney reported that she is currently working on grant applications – specifically Celebrate Ontario applications for the Kearney Dog Sled Races and the Drag at the Mag event. She is also working towards organizing a Job Fair to take place at Almaguin Highlands Secondary School in April.
Dave Stewart/Almaguin Highlands Inc.
Dave reported that he had a chance to speak with Myles Donahue at the Habitat for Humanity fundraiser and Myles is interested in speaking to both the Chamber and the AHED group. The Habitat for Humanity is currently represented in South Almaguin and gradually moving further north with hopes to build homes here.
Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre
Jessica reported that both Entrepreneurial Skills Training Sessions are well underway in Magnetawan and South River. Life Skills Training is running in South River as well. October’s Business & Resource Network Luncheon will be taking place at Briminard Bay in Sundridge with Madrie Secord speaking on ‘Making Your Money Matter’. The November meeting will be WORC’s Annual Christmas Trade Show which takes place at Chalmer’s United Church and the public are encouraged to attend. The Warm Winter Clothing Exchange is underway as well – there are a lot of warm clothes, coats, shoes and boots for women but a limited selection of children’s wear and men’s wear – please feel free to direct anyone seeking items to WORC. WORC is also organizing an online Fall Auction to support the sponsoring of local families during the Christmas season.
Dave Gray/CDO Burk’s Falls, Armour, Ryerson
The Marketing/E-Marketing presentation by Kirsto for Small Business Week was very well received on October 19th – approximately 20 participants in attendance and Kirsto delivered an energizing presentation, with Bakery by the Bridge catering a delicious lunch – this event was a partnership between the Business Centre of Nipissing Parry Sound and BACED. Dave also reported that he is heading to Saskatchewan for the Economic Developers of Canada Annual Conference which will take place over this weekend.
Stacie Fiddler/Labour Market Group
Jessica brought in an update from Stacie on behalf of the Labour Market Group:
LMG’s 2016 EmployerOne survey has officially been launched online www.thelabourmarketgroup.ca This regional employer survey helps LMG gather critical information on the workforce issues and challenges faced by employers in the region. More importantly, the results of this survey will formulate action strategies for workforce development. The region’s Local Labour Market Plan has been approved and will be launched in the upcoming weeks. This annual document provides a complete labour market snapshot of the region including updated statistics Canada numbers from 2016. The Action Plan has been accumulated from community consultations throughout the region. LMG has produced a 2 minute video segment on Tourism jobs in the district and how tourism related job impact the community. The video can be viewed on their website. LMG continues to produce a monthly labour market publication for the Parry Sound region. Our monthly Labour Focus offers local, provincial and national job related statistical information. The second piece is our monthly Job Vacancy study. There were 89 job vacancies posted within the Parry Sound district during the month of October. This is a significant decrease from the September total of 101. If you are not receiving these publications and would like to, please contact Stacie@thelabourmarketgroup.ca
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