Meeting Minutes – September 17th, 2015

10 a.m. – 12 noon @ South River Village Office


Present: Carol Armstrong, McMurrich/Monteith; Jessica Busch, WORC; Jeff Johnston, USCO; Kimberly Bester, Powassan; Marilee Koenderink, Employment North; Emily Ryan, IION.


  1. Welcome, call to order ~ Jeff Johston  10:03 a.m.
    1. Regrets: Dave Stewart, Almaguin Highlands Inc.; Karen Insley-Stewart, Cottage Pain Clinic; Carole Mantha, MNDM; Lance Thrale, Kearney.
  2. Introductions of attendees
  3. Adoption Minutes of June 18, 2015
  4. Business Arising (AHED Business):  

Thank you to the Village of South River for hosting this month’s AHED meeting.

  1. Reports from Community and Resource Partners

Marilee Koenderink/Employment North

This is Marilee’s first meeting representing Employment North.  Employment North is currently working with new funding received in August for youth ages 15 to 29 who have barriers/difficulties to finding employment – this funding also encompasses an employer subsidy portion.  The Parry Sound office has also secured funding for multi-barrier youth.  Barrier’s could include lack of education/skills, no employment experience, social barriers etc.

Marilee reported that Second Career Applications are down from previous years – more information on the Second Career program can be found online http://www.secondcareerontario.com/web/second_career/

Employment North can also help facilitate Apprenticeships – there are numerous apprenticeship programs available with no age restrictions, however there is always a struggle to find employers willing to apprentice.  There are many perks to bringing on an apprentice including a $1,000 signing bonus, employer wage subsidy, 6 month signing bonus and some support for equipment required such as boots, work clothing. 

Marilee also briefly spoke about the Canada Ontario Job Grant which is available for employers who wish to purchase training for their employees.  It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver short-term training to existing and new employees.  The COJB can provide up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs, they require employers to contribute one-third of total costs – there is flexibility for small businesses to provide an in-kind contribution towards their share of the costs.  The training is required to be delivered by an eligible, third-party trainer.  For more information, please check out the website at http://www.tcu.gov.on.ca/eng/eopg/cojg/

There are two new employment consultants in the office – Agnes Wojawoda and Melissa Lafrance have joined the team, a front office worker will be hired this week as well.

Marilee discussed client outreach stating that accommodations can be made to fit client needs but it is definitely preferred to have clients come in to the office.


      Carol Armstrong/McMurrich Monteith

Carol reported on a great summer in McMurrich Monteith.  The Family Festival (formerly known as the Summer Spectacular) was very well attended and made a profit this year.  A few changes included an archery instructor and a Market organized by Tracy Ross.  The next event is a Halloween Movie Night taking place at the Community Centre.  The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will once again take place in December with free hot chocolate and apple crisp – date to be announced.  The 125th Anniversary Celebration will take place next year so planning is beginning to take place for events – they are trying not to conflict with other local events.


       Kimberley Bester/Powassan

Kim reported that events in Powassan over the summer were very well received.  The Fall Fair was well attended and Smoke N’ Spurs continues to grow – this year they had approx. 130 campers.  The new Industrial Park will be completed by mid-October with 12 – 14 acres off of Fairview Lane – cost will $3,333/acre which is fully serviced property.  The Industrial Park was funded 45% by NOHFC and 45% by FedNor with 10% being contributed by the Municipality.  The site is zoned for business and can accommodate light industrial. 

Kimberley also mentioned that the Voodoo’s are back on the ice with Season Tickets and game tickets on sale – there are also flex packs that can be purchased which is a pack of 10 tickets to be used at anytime.  The Sportsplex now has a liquor license along with a Bar/Catering Manager which offers opportunity for more events to be held at the Powassan Sportsplex.

Kim discussed the Annual Christmas Artisan Market happening again this year in Powassan – date to be announced.  A map is done up indicating where open houses and events are taking place.  This will be the second year for the event.  Smoke N’ Spurs Parade of Lights will be taking place in early December along with the Christmas Tree Lighting.


       Emily Ryan/IION

Emily reported that IION has had a busy summer.  IION’s region stretches North to Temiskaming Shores, South to Muskoka, West to West Nipissing and East to the Quebec border.  IION works collaboratively with a number of strategic partners to foster innovation and accelerate growth.

IION’s in house funding programs include YEP which assists businesses to hire youth over the course of the summer – this year their program helped 10 youths get hired, saw 6 youth staying with their companies after completion of the program and 4 returning to school.  The Step Forward Entrepreneurs Program can provide up to $5,000 and is intended to enhance innovation and commercialization for small and medium sized enterprises.  Innovation is defined as a new or refreshed process, product or service that creates value (economically) for a start-up, individual entrepreneur, existing organization or company in transition.  The Innovative Manufacturing and Facilitation Program is intended for companies looking to accelerate innovation and commercialization in the advanced manufacturing sector.  Emily discussed upcoming Fall & Winter Events including a “Crowd Funding 101” workshop.


       Jeff Johnston/USCO

Jeff reported that the new council is forming an Economic Development Committee.  Jeff briefly discussed a project that has been in the works for 15+ years - the Ralph Bice Wilderness Experience & Sustainability Center aims to provide visitors with a wilderness experience and share the local history of trapping, forestry and mining.  The project is located on 76 acres of land held by Kearney – future hopes for the site include 100 campsites, authentic trapper’s cabins as well as higher end accommodations.  Jeff discussed that this would be a big tourism draw for the area and hopes to see progress on the project – he will offer more information as he receives it.  Jeff also discussed the Fall Festival and Corn Roast taking place tomorrow, September 18th at the Sprucedale Community Centre.  The day will include live music, a merchant’s mall, bbq, pottery demo, chainsaw carving, euchre, bridge, horseshoes, croquet, stained glass display’s, raffles and much more.  Admission is $5 and includes dinner.  The event runs from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.


       Jessica Busch/Women’s Own Resource Centre

Jessica reported a very busy summer at WORC.  Staff attended Non-Violent Crisis Prevention and Intervention offered by the CPI Institute with the help of the Canada Ontario Job Grant – excellent program, easy application, businesses should take advantage of this opportunity.  Entrepreneurial Skills Training is taking place in two locations this fall – South River and Burk’s Falls classes are in session and both groups working with 6-8 women.  The next sessions will be offered in January.  WORC is launching a new program this fall – Life Skills Training starts on Tuesday September 29th in South River, currently the class is full but will be offered again in January as well.  Life Skills Training covers topics on improving self esteem and building confidence, managing stress, time management and goal setting, household budgeting, interpersonal communication skills, resume writing, job interviews and an overview of local resources and supports.  This month’s Almaguin Women’s Resource & Business Network meeting will be held at Kudo’s in Powassan with WORC presenting on “Hashtags Explained: How to use them in your social media marketing.”

WORC also hosted the 2nd Annual WIB Trade Show in August this year with the support of The Labour Market Group.  The event was very successful with the number of participants staying relatively the same however the number of attendees at the Trade Show this year nearly tripled.


  1. Correspondence:
  2. In-Camera (if required)
  3. Next meeting date: Thursday, October 15th, 2015 @ Employment North in Sundridge which is located at 104 Main Street.
  4. Meeting Adjourned @ 12:00 p.m.  



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