Are you having hiring difficulties? Do you experience retention issues, a skills gap or other related issues? Would you like to talk about how the community could help develop your industry’s workforce?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board is offering an opportunity to get together and discuss the issues and possible solutions.

The SLWDB is hosting a consultation day on Wednesday, September 19 to meet with businesses in a group setting; there will be three one-hour sessions to choose from, at 7:30 a.m.11 a.m., and 2 p.m.

The location is the St. Clair Room at 265 Front Street N., Sarnia, although those interested in participating are asked to contact the office of the Sarnia Lambton Workforce Development Board prior to arriving.

Two additional sessions will be held in Lambton Shores with details to be announced later.

If you are interested in attending either event or would like more details, please contact Executive Director Shauna Carr at (519) 332-0000 or shauna.carr@slwdb.org.

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Erin Bury, the technology and marketing expert and “start-up fanatic” who was named as one of Marketing Magazine’s “Top 10 Under 30,” is the featured speaker at a keynote, workshop and full breakfast event to be held Tuesday, October 16 at the Lambton Event Centre.

The event is part of Sarnia-Lambton Business Week, which is being organized by the Sarnia-Lambton Business Development Corporation and sponsored in part by the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce.

Bury is a former technology journalist who writes a monthly column for the Financial Post. She is also a technology commentator for CTV News.

In sharing the “ins and outs” of entrepreneurship, Bury’s dynamic presentation will help attendees take their marketing game to the next level.

As the current managing director at Eighty-Eight, a communications agency, Bury works with consumer brands and technology companies to tell their stories. Her client list has included Sony Pictures Television, Torstar and PayPal as well as countless start-ups.

Bury, whose “claim to fame” was being re-tweeted (twice) by Oprah, will help attendees learn how to use an entrepreneurial mindset to win in business.

Cost of the event is $35 plus an Eventbrite fee of $2.20. A link to the Eventbrite.ca for tickets can be found HERE.

 

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Congratulations go out to the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership in being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Ten Canadian Economic Development Groups by Site Selection magazine. The recognition comes as part of the publication’s “Canada’s Best Locations 2018 Awards” program.

Features that lead to the recognition include excellence in regional partnerships, proactive and innovative programming as well as quality data, web tools and resources.

It is the fifth time in the 12-year history of the awards program that the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership has been named to the list. Past years in which SLEP made the top 10 list were 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2014.

Shirley de Silva, president and CEO of the Chamber, said news of the ranking speaks well for the entire business community.

“We work as a team here in Sarnia-Lambton and when one of our own is recognized beyond our borders, we celebrate with them,” she said.

The award will be presented at the annual conference of the International Economic Development Council later this month.

A full story about the recognition appears in Lambton Shield, an online (and soon to be print) business publication.

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The Lambton Federation of Agriculture, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture affiliate who has a representative on the board of the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce, is hosting an information evening for all Sarnia-Lambton candidates and clerks (including candidates who have been acclaimed).

The event is on Wednesday, September 26 and takes place at the Wyoming Fairgrounds.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with a social gathering (light refreshments included), followed by a presentation from the Lambton Federation of Agriculture and Ontario Federation of Agriculture.

A detailed agenda will appear on the LFA events page (lambtonfederation.ca) closer to the date.

The LFA is asking those who plan on attending the event (there will be no public questions as part of the format) to contact them by email: info@lambtonfederation.ca.

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With a door open from the perspective of newly re-elected Member of Provincial Parliament, the Chamber is starting the first of what is hoped to be an ongoing series of meetings, all with a view to discussing the new government’s priorities when it comes to strengthening local business.

A first meeting took place last week with Bailey in his Sarnia constituency office.

“We were encouraged by the discussion we had in Bob’s office,” said de Silva. “For several years, our MPP has served our community in an Opposition role in the provincial legislature and while there were opportunities for dialogue, clearly there is a renewed sense of hope and optimism in having our representative at Queen’s Park in the role of government.”

Along with topics as diverse as the government’s plans around Bill 148, government spending priorities and Bailey’s role as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Government and Consumer Services, there was also a very preliminary discussion about how the region could benefit from a visit to Queen’s Park next spring.

Bailey said the meeting with the Chamber was both positive and welcome.

“It’s always great to work with the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce,” said Bailey. “With a new government comes a new opportunity to make sure that the issues important to the Chamber and its members are front and centre. I’m looking forward to the upcoming legislative session and the positive work that we can do to help businesses grow and thrive in Ontario.”

 

 

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The Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce is calling a SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING to be held on Wednesday, September 26, at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place at the offices of the Chamber (boardroom) for the following purpose:

To pass a special resolution of the members to ratify and accept the revised bylaws.

Proposed and existing bylaws can be viewed on the Chamber’s website.

Registration is required, click here to register.

 

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Circle Studio and the Town of Petrolia is proud to be hosting September’s Business After 5 event on Wednesday, September 19.

The event will be held at Circle Studio, located at 4215 Petrolia Line, Petrolia. Circle Studio is a holistic health, healing and wellness studio, run by women (and moms) with a passion for health, wellness and family fitness.

Mark your calendars for September 19 and we’ll see you between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

 

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It’s become a tradition at the Sarnia Lambton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala and this year, there’s been a steady stream of “repeat customers” when it comes to sponsors of the “Red Carpet” along the sidewalk near the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia.

The good news is that there are still several spots available, which will be among the most visible sponsorship opportunities connected with this year’s OBAA event, which takes place on Friday, October 12, 2018.

Price for each square is $750 plus HST.

Sponsorship “squares” on the sidewalk are installed several days before the event and remain in place for a few days following.

Contact the Chamber office to secure your spot. You can email the office (info@slchamber.ca) or call (519) 336-2400.

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Marijuana is set to be legalized for recreational use as of October 17, 2018. For many employers still struggling with how to accommodate employees who have been prescribed cannabis for medicinal purposes, this will create new challenges and questions. How do you define impairment and fitness for work? What types of tasks are safety-sensitive? These are key concerns that leadership needs to manage before the legislation passes.

Here is a sampling of insights from the CEO Health + Safety Leadership Network panel discussion, captured in the Marijuana in the Workplace: Conversations About the Impact on Employers and Employees, a white paper published by WSPS.

Participants agreed that understanding all of the nuances of this issue will take time and experience.

What employers need to know:

  • Prior to legalization, marijuana is the most prevalently used illicit drug in Canada.
  • Consuming recreational marijuana at work is and will remain illegal.
  • Marijuana use, particularly THC products (the principal psychoactive constituent), can cause residual impairment for 24 to 48 hours.
  • The legislation may affect the entire organization, not just safety-sensitive positions.

Basic principles when dealing with marijuana in the workplace

  • Safety should always come first.
  • Protecting employees’ rights is important, but employers have rights too.

How to move your organization forward

  • Review highlights of the federal cannabis legislation and Ontario’s new workplace rules.
  • Update your hazard assessments to include the potential for impairment.
  • Create a policy and program on the use of any substance that can cause impairment. Write the policy in a way that leaves room for dialogue. Include definitions of key terms, such as “impairment” and “fitness to work.”
  • Consider the entire organization’s needs, not just safety-sensitive positions.
  • Consult with stakeholders and experts.
  • Follow what leading organizations are doing, such as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC). In the white paper, you’ll find an interview with Megan MacRae, the TTC’s executive director, Human Resources, on the organization’s drug and alcohol testing program.

How WSPS can help

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As the wheels continue to turn on the journey we know as the 2018 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards gala, a special appeal: there is a need for more judges.

The task is relatively straightforward, with volunteers to receive copies of online submissions on or about September 4.

Submissions are then reviewed and returned with scoring to organizers (details will be communicated to volunteers). The time frame is designed to give judges enough time between reading the submissions, each of which is a maximum of 2,000 words.

When it all comes together, the drum roll on the 2018 Oustanding Business Achievement Awards gala—Friday, October 12 at the Imperial Theatre in downtown Sarnia—can begin.

“We appreciate the help from our volunteer judges!” said Sharon Sielky, chair of the Chamber’s OBAA committee.

Those interested in volunteering should contact the Chamber office—by email (info@slchamber.ca) or phone (519) 336-2400.

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