We are back in the office full time as of June 1, 2020. As we return, we will be on summer hours. You can access our services Monday to Thursday from 8 am to 5 pm. We will be closed Fridays.
The past few months have been a trying and stressful time for many. The pandemic has created much uncertainty in so many aspects of daily life from spending time with family to the daily ritual of going to work. So many businesses and organizations have had to make swift changes and adapt quickly to the ever changing guidelines given by the Health Commissions both Provincially and Federally and of course, as a First Nation Community, we are guided by our own elected government. To help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Timiskaming First Nation Chief and Council made the prudent decision to close all public buildings and asked all community members to remain safe at home. ANHRSD followed suit. Staff were asked to work from home and only enter the office as necessary.
This safety measure did slow down the progress of many of our files, but it did not stop us completely. Staff were provided with the tools necessary to work from home and were available to clients during work hours by phone and email. We took advantage of the empty office and had Quantum Xpress Computers in to update our network. They also put in place protocols and software that made it easier for staff to securely access our computer files from home.
Lorri, our Employment Counselor has been busy ensuring client projects remained on track and those that needed to be postponed were done in a manner that allows the client to return without penalty if they choose. Calls to clients and partners to update the status of files was her main focus. A few new projects were created and funding has been secured for clients who are beginning training programs in the fall. ASP training with Centre Polymetier will begin as soon as it is safe to train together in a group.
Lisa and Brent have been working hard on getting tax returns completed for community members. It has been challenging to collect and return documents while respecting physical distancing. A safe system has been set up and we now have a document drop box outside our front door for clients to deliver required documentation.
Lisa has also been working at digitizing client project files to help streamline the application and follow up process. From beginning to end documents can be shared instantly with the Manager and Board of Directors for approval.
Julia worked on a lot of panels at the government level with other ISET Contribution Agreement holders to ensure the continuation of projects through out the pandemic and beyond. She has kept Chief and Council updated on COVID measures and informed them that funding will continue for all eligible projects.
Service Canada has hosted webinars for employment services organizations each time a new initiative or benefit measure was announced. These webinars were attended by all ANHRSD staff and equipped us with better tools and understanding of the new Canada Emergency Response Benefits. This enabled us to help our members apply to the benefits.
We continue to still provide programs and services to the community and surrounding area in regards to resume building, job postings, training to employment development, and assistance accessing alternative sources of funding. I have been working diligently to come up with new and innovative ways to continue to provide our community with the best possible services in training to employment programming.