Anishinabek Employment and Training Services plans to launch Food Services Worker and Personal Support Worker training programs on May 2 in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care Group and Confederation College.
“Partnerships like this with … AETS is going to benefit our community — we are always trying to build capacity,” says Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek Chief Bart Hardy. “The partnerships with Confederation College we’ve had in the past were pretty successful.”
Hardy says the partnership announcement was “a good day for us.”
”It is going to be good for us,” Hardy says. “We have utilized AETS every year. We’ve used them for training programs for our students. We’ve had a good relationship with AETS over the years, and we wish to continue that.”
The programs were announced on March 22 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay, with a variety of AETS, Confederation College and St. Joseph’s Care Group representatives and community leaders in attendance. AETS received $629,430 for the initiative from the Targeted Initiatives Fund through the Aboriginal Education Office of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
“Any opportunities for training and education will help our community, because our communities are developing fast,” says Red Rock Indian Band Councillor Gilbert Deschamps, who serves on the AETS board of directors. “There are a lot of economic development opportunities coming down the pipe, and we need the trained staff.”
Deschamps says there is a “lot of need” for trained personal support workers in the area.
“I think it is going to be successful, because there is a lot of interest out there,” Deschamps says. “A lot of people are interested in working with community members one-on-one.”
The two programs will provide training for up to 44 Aboriginal learners, 22 in the 21-week Personal Support Worker program and 22 in the six-week Food Service Worker program. The programs will feature the services of an Elder, facilitators/instructors, program coordinators and regular monitors to provide assistance to learners. Meals and accommodations will be provided through the programs.
“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,” says John DeGiacomo, executive director of AETS. “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.“
Graduates from the two programs will receive a Food Services Worker or Personal Support Worker certificate and other related qualifications from Confederation College and/or other stakeholder partners, as well as being eligible for transition to employment immediately upon completion of their program.
“We have an existing employer who has provided their commitment to the program, so upon completion of the program they are ready, willing and able to hire the graduates and give them positions within St. Joseph’s Care Group,” says Mandy Price, proposal and partnership development officer with AETS. “It’s not just St. Joseph’s Care Group that has the shortage of workers, so there are many opportunities within the region for participants to gain
employment. Ontario has an aging population, so there is always going to be a demand for personal support and dietary aides.”
AETS also launched their new website, www.aets.org, during the programming announcement in collaboration with Sencia Canada and Firedog Communications.
“Majority of online user’s access websites from their mobile devices,” says Joe Quaresima, systems director for Sencia Canada Limited. “We created a mobile friendly website for AETS that consistently and seamlessly meets their needs and accommodates all their clients’ web surfing preferences.”