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The Ontario Government is investing $83 million through the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to provide grants for non-profit organizations, including food banks, child and youth programs and Royal Canadian Legion branches, recover from COVID-19 and continue the delivery of vital programming in their communities. 

The OTF’s Resilient Communities Fund will provide grants of up to $150,000 to help eligible non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 with support for: 

  • Equipping board members and employees with supports to implement new approaches, prepare for change and build resiliency
  • Improving and increasing ability to access financial resources and develop new and/or alternative sources of revenues 
  • Adapting or re-imaging the delivery of programs and services to meet the needs of the community, employees and volunteers
  • Procuring equipment or renovating spaces to meet the changing needs of the organization, its programs and services, and adapt to new ways of working
  • Creating and/or adopting new approaches for organizations to work together to meet the needs of communities

To read the full statement from the Ontario government, click here.

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The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our world and forcing everyone to think differently about many things. To help Canadian policymakers think differently about growing our economy while still paying for today’s health crisis, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has launched an independent tax review. 

As an integral part of the review, they are seeking the views of Canadian business people on the federal tax system. There are five upcoming sessions (all virtual) in which you can participate and deliver your thoughts to our commissioners. You must register to participate. The dates and registration links are noted below. – August 12, 2020 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET– Central Canada consultation; conducted in English.

Click here to register. 

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The Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Director of International Trade, Mark Agnew, issued a statement on the United States’ re-imposition of tariffs on Canadian aluminum exports. 

“Canadian aluminum forms a critical part of the US defence industrial base and consequently plays a vital role in our shared defence and security objectives.”

“At a time when our economies are struggling with the economic fallout of COVID-19, these tariffs will only exacerbate disruptions to North American supply chains.” 

“As focus now shifts to Canada’s response, we call on the Deputy Prime Minister to urgently undertake consultations with the business community on the government’s retaliatory response to ensure adverse consequences for Canadian businesses are minimized in this fragile economic context.”

For the full article, click here.

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Canada’s Volunteer Awards (CVA) recognizes the significant contributions of individual volunteers, non-profit organizations, and businesses across the country in helping communities.

Nominees can be individuals or groups, businesses, social enterprises, or non-profit organizations and must meet specific criteria:

  • Political and public advocacy work is not eligible.
  • Must be Canadian citizens, permanent residents, or protected persons within the meaning of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 30 for the Emerging Leader category and 18 years of age and over for all other categories.
  • Have contributed to addressing social challenges in their community.

To nominate someone or read more about the details, click here.

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The following was written by Bruce Hein, owner at Express Employment Professionals.

COVID-19 has changed what work looks like across the globe. According to Global Workplace Analytics, about 56% of the workforce holds a job that could partially be accomplished with remote work. However, only 3.6% of the workforce works at home half the time or more. They go on to estimate that 25 30% of the workforce will work from home on a multiple-days-a-week basis by the end of 2021. 

That’s a huge change for both employers and employees. However, for those looking to change their career path, these uncertain times present an unprecedented opportunity. Jobs that individuals couldn’t accept because they required a move are now open to anyone in the country. 

Try Out Working from Home

Changing your career path starts with figuring out if working from home is right for you. Although the benefits can be enormous, working remotely comes with its own share of unique problems. Airtasker found that remote employees work 1.4 more days per month than those still working in the office. That means three additional weeks of work per year. However, 29% of remote employees noted that they had trouble with work-life balance, and 31% felt they needed to take a mental health day.

If you aren’t already working from home, try asking your manager if you can spend a day working remotely. Find an area free of distractions and get to work. Although you can tell your family about your unique circumstances ahead of time, your home might not be built for work; unexpected distractions might be unavoidable.

Take Online Classes

The pandemic has inspired many universities to offer free online classes related to COVID-19. These vary from science to culture, and can be extremely beneficial to take, both for your own knowledge and for your career. You might even find a new career path to explore. Class Central put together a list of many of these courses, and you can find others online with a quick Google search.

Start Job Searching Online

Due to COVID-19, many companies have changed traditionally in-person positions to remote positions. Job board websites like Indeed and Glassdoor are a great place to start looking for a job in a new career path. 

To make your online applications stand out, start off by making your resume ATS-friendly. An ATS, or applicant tracking system, as noted by Jobscan, is a “a type of software used by companies to assist with human resources, recruiting and hiring processes.” Jobscan noted that, when it comes to Fortune 500 companies, 98% use an ATS. 

Next, focus on choosing the correct file type (PDFs are not compatible with ATSs), keep important information out of the header and footer (ATSs have difficulty scanning those areas), and make your resume keyword-rich (use keywords common to job postings you’re interested in). 

Prepare for the Video Interview

Video interviews are different from in-person interviews. You’re talking to a computer screen instead of a person. 

Avoid wearing anything too casual. Dress code varies by company, so you might not need to wear a suit, but you want to give a good first impression. You’ll also want to sit upright and stay away from slouching. Finally, remember to make eye contact with the camera when you speak, not your interviewer’s face. That way your interviewer will feel like you’re looking directly at them. 

About Express Employment Professionals
If you need additional help in starting on a new career path in these unprecedented times, contact Express Employment Professionals. We’re in the business of people. Our international network of franchises offer localized staffing solutions to the communities they serve, employing 552,000 people across North America in 2019. For more information, visit www.ExpressPros.com. 

The Sarnia Express office is located at 347 Christina Street North and serves the Sarnia-Lambton area. Local businesses and applicants are encouraged to visit www.expresspros.com/sarniaon or call (519) 336-7962.

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High Park Company, a leader in the cannabis industry, is hiring fifteen technicians at their manufacturing facility in Petrolia, Ontario. The start date is Monday, August 17th.

Their ideal candidate is flexible, dedicated, and motivated who wants to be a part of a team that is passionate about their products and the success and growth of their business. Technicians will be responsible for successfully learning the Production/Manufacturing Program and ensuring the safe and effective cleaning of High Park equipment and work locations. 

You must have at least a high school diploma, strong communications, and willingness to learn, take direction and be a positive team player. Must have flexibility for shift work. To apply, please email your resume to dave.dinino@tilray.com.

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Tomorrow is our Weekend Walkabout once again, where Christina Street is closed from George to Davis Street Friday at 4:00 PM until 8 PM on Sunday. The closure allows merchants to utilize the entire sidewalk for their wares/patios and the street will be a space in which people can move freely and safely. 

The Imperial Theatre is taking advantage of the street closure starting this Friday, August 7, by having some of their favourite performers singing solos from behind plexiglass (to contain the breath). 

The Theatre is also trying to raise $100,000 to support the facility’s future operations. Titled the “Tiny Little Fundraiser”, has already brought some support to help out the theatre, which has been closed since March due to COVID-19. They’ve cancelled or postponed about 50 shows so far and refunded over $60,000 in tickets.

Donations can be made online at https://secure1.tixhub.com/imperial-sarnia/online/b_don.asp

Or cheques can be mailed to the theatre at 168 Christina Street North, PO Box 43, Sarnia, Ontario N7T 7H8.

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CEWS has been extended to December 19, 2020. The proposed improvements to the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS) passed through the senate and received Royal Assent on July 27th. These approved changes mean:

  • The CEWS has been extended until December 19, 2002 including redesigned program details until November 21, 2020. 
  • CEWS is now accessible to a broader range of employers 
  • A top-up subsidy of up to an additional 25 per cent will be available for employers that have been most adversely affected by COVID-19
  • Certainty to employers that have already made business decisions for July and August by ensuring they would not receive a subsidy rate lower than under the previous rules 

To read more about the new improvements to CEWS, click here.

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