This one of a series of articles, as part of the feature called "Helpers", which focuses on people and organizations that help make our community better.
This time we focus on North Bay's YES Employment Services.
YES Employment CEO LeeAnne Maille describes two ways that her team regularly battles outdated information.
"People make the mistake of thinking that we are only a youth employment service. That was our primary focus decades ago, but we have grown to assist job seekers of all ages, and all skill levels," she says in describing the first misconception.
The second mistake people make when thinking of the non-profit agency, is when they describe what it does.
Some people believe that they provide a few wage subsidies to help inexperienced workers get entry-level jobs. But it has grown to be much, much more than that.
"We change lives. We help people develop, make plans, set goals, and then support them in realizing their goals. It's not just about tomorrow, it's about all the tomorrows after that," says Maille.
If you explore the many services and programs at YES - all of which are at no cost to the participants - you'll quickly discover they are ready to help people of all skill sets, with wide-ranging needs, and goals.
The people they assist in job-searching include:
- those looking for casual work (like handyman services or lawn cutting)
- students seeking summer employment
- people seeking full-time work, as well as professional or career roles and positions
- they also assist those seeking trades, apprenticeships, or retraining at the post-secondary level
YES has also built a network of relationships with area businesses and employers, that gets stronger every year, adds Maille. She says they've become the first contact, call or email for employers whether they are seeking a part-time employee or a new executive assistant.
"Probably one of North Bay's best-kept secrets is that we assist employers who need to fill all levels of jobs, and just how many of them we regularly assist to fill their positions. In the past two years, we've assisted over 1,000 local employers with their human resources needs. For some of them we come to serve as their unofficial HR department in many ways," she explains.
They provide free employment counselling one-on-one, as well as free job-search related workshops, on things like interview skills, researching employers, and building that all-important resume.
Of course, the COVID pandemic meant YES had to adapt, and they did. The 38 staff have been working remotely from home, but still finding ways to provide all of the services that are in their arsenal. In fact, they've continued to see success in helping people get hired and in helping employers find the right match for their business.
Due to the unknowns on when and how quickly the entire team will be returning to their Main Street East facility in downtown North Bay, Maille says the best way to reach out to them right now is likely by telephone, at 705-476-3234.