More than $1 million in federal funding has been announced for two initiatives FedNor says will help businesses grow, create jobs, and attract skilled workers.
The federal funding agency announced $1,110,810 — to be shared between Blue Sky Net and the City of North Bay — on Jan. 23.
Of the funding, $1,034,050 will go toward the ongoing operations of Blue Sky Net over the next three years. The organization works with providers to bring high-speed internet to more Northern Ontario communities.
Specifically, FedNor said, Blue Sky Net will “work with local stakeholders to assess ICT trends and talent gaps, identify and implement solutions to increase skilled talent to support digital industries.
“They will also coordinate local and regional broadband deployment, and help increase digital technology adoption and awareness.”
The remaining $76,760 will go to the City of North Bay to develop and implement a workforce attraction and retention strategy.
Proposed as a two-year pilot, the project will give employers access to human resources support focused on identifying current resources; developing tools and training; providing one-on-one HR support; and hosting virtual job fairs and recruitment events.
The project is a collaboration of multiple organizations, including the Workforce Planning Board (Labour Market Group), Employment Service Agency (YES Employment), Social Services Administration Board, North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce, and career centres within North Bay post-secondary institutions.
Funding for the two initiatives comes through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP).