July 17, 2018 | News

Reprinted by permission from Sault Online

There is a shortage of health care workers in our community. In response to this community need, Sault College developed a unique partnership with Algoma Manor in Thessalon to offer the Personal Support Worker (PSW) program directly in the community.

The partnership with Algoma Manor was developed by the College through its Continuing Education and Employment Solutions departments. The joint effort was made to assist rural communities along the north shore, who are having difficulty filling PSW vacancies. “The need for more PSWs in the area was identified by Algoma Manor and Employment Solutions Blind River,” said Lori Crosson, Program Manager, Continuing Education, Sault College. “Once these needs were identified, we worked together on offering the program to assist employers and our students. We are focused on providing access to education for all and this was one way we could help to accomplish this goal,” she added.

The program, which is offered through Sault College’s Continuing Education department, began May 24 and runs through to mid-December. It currently has 16 full-time students, eleven of which are sponsored by Algoma Manor through the Canada Ontario Job Grant (COJG). Other students have been sponsored by various businesses, Indigenous supports and through the Second Career program.

COJG provides opportunities for employers, individually or in groups, to increase the skills of their workforce with help from the government. COJG provides direct financial support to individual employers or employer consortia applicants who wish to purchase training for their employees. It is available to small, medium and large businesses with a plan to deliver training to employees.

The programming takes place at Algoma Manor with Sault College instructors delivering the curriculum. For Algoma Manor offering this program is critical to the service they provide. “It is a truly unique opportunity to be able to receive a post-secondary education in a rural community and have it covered financially through the Ontario Canada Job Grant. It is a wonderful example of how grant dollars can be used to the maximum in an integrated approach” said Pam Ficociello, Director of Care Algoma Manor.

While registration for this particular program is closed, Sault College Continuing Education will be offering a full-time online PSW program beginning fall 2018. Sault College is also offering its full-time PSW on campus program beginning fall 2018.

Employers interested in supporting new or current staff in becoming qualified PSWs, please contact Lori Crosson at 705-759-2554 ext. 2442 or lori.crosson@saultcollege.ca.

For more information about the COJG or to learn how employers can get up to $10,000 in government support per person for training costs and up to $15,000 to hire and train new employees, please contact Employment Solutions 705-945-0705, 421 Bay Street Station Tower 4th floor and ask to speak with the COJG specialist.

The vision of Sault College is to provide a transformative life experience through empowering those who study with us to think and learn in progressive, innovative ways, including those we have not yet imagined. Sault College grants Ontario College certificates, diplomas, advanced diplomas, graduate certificates, and degrees to its graduates. The College is the largest deliverer of apprenticeship training in all of Northern Ontario. Sault College has a significant economic impact on the community, with spinoffs in excess of $158 million. Over $1.8 million dollars in scholarships, bursaries and awards are distributed annually to students at the College. Located on the border to the United States and situated in the middle of three of the largest Great Lakes on the planet, Sault College is one of 24 publicly-funded colleges in the province of Ontario.