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Je.....Stanstead - New Plan of Action

5  7 Stanstead -1STANSTEAD: For the 4th year in a row, a group of 60 business owners and self-employed entrepreneurs of Stanstead gathered together for a ‘5 à 7’ – style event designed to improve communications within the group. This event was held on April 16, at the Pat Burns Arena, in the Salle Molson-Coors.

The Town of Stanstead, in collaboration with the Comité d’employabilité, had organized this event to encourage an exchange of ideas, promoting this opportunity as a chance to better understand one another and to help integrate newcomers into the business community. It also proved to be a good opportunity to connect with interveners who offer various services to employers in the region.

The evening began with a rousing welcome from Master of Ceremonies Helene Hamel (also in charge of the Village de Relais file for the Town of Stanstead), followed by an invitation to gather around several small tables5  7 - Stanstead - 3 for brief individual discussions on the problems faced by employers in the region. Everyone then adjourned to seats which had been set up before a large screen for a presentation by Pierre Petreault of Emploi Quebec. Before Petreault began his dialogue, the group was entertained by Ry Guy, a young magician who engaged his audience in a series of illusion-based tricks.

One employer spoke of his frustration at not being able to hire what he considered to be conscientious employees, “the job search/ hiring of employees scenario of today being so different from what I was facing when I first started to work. It is not that there are no good candidates out there, the problem comes when THEY start setting the rules for their employment instead of me, as their employer. This makes things very difficult and I am not quite sure how to deal with this issue. When I began to work myself, I was taught to expect the employer to make the rules on the job. I certainly did not expect, nor did I receive two weeks vacation when I 5  7 Stansteadhad just started working at any given place. That was just the way it was”.

Pierre Petreault led the way through a powerpoint presentation entitled ‘Je…..Stanstead’, explaining a new plan of action in support of the Town of Stanstead and a business owner’s responsibilities toward the town in which they operate their business. He spoke of the need for employers as well as those looking for work to engage in some form of active involvement. Employers need to make it clear what base of competence they are looking for and know where to look for these employment possibilities. They also need to look at each candidate in terms of possible employees in the future. Would they give someone a second chance?

What is being proposed is that a group of possible employees enters into an agreement with an employer to 5  7 Stanstead -2participate in a program of basic training and then upon receiving their certification, work for a designated period of time at the job being offered. This will give both the employer and the worker a chance to see if this person is a good fit, hopefully leading to a full-time job.

The purpose of the basic training program is to even out the standards of those seeking employment and to give the employers the confidence in knowing that a person who has completed this program will have mastered the basic skills. This opportunity will also help individuals realize their strongest and their weakest points when it comes to applying for a job. The employer is under no obligation to hire any particular applicant.

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Photo: M. Lanthier (Director of the CLD de Memphrémagog) and Johane Mackay (Development Agent for Stanstead)

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