male construction worker
female baker
male truck driver
Female Lab worker

February 2023

The Courage to Change with Support from Better Jobs Ontario

Sometimes a series of events gives you the determination and courage to make a change.  For Richard, this series of events started with a suggestion from his son, a client at YES.  His son recommended that Richard look into using Employment Ontario programs to make a major change in his career direction.

Richard had owned his own business.  He worked in the bush operating a feller/buncher for over 20 years.  He was good at his job and he worked hard.  The work was steady, but unfortunately the pay was not. Self-employment in this field sometimes meant that Richard had to wait weeks to get paid, sometimes a month or more.  Living and working in remote locations was also wearing on both Richard and his wife.  The pandemic made the work and the pay even more sporadic. Richard was ready to make a change.  He made the difficult decision to close his business.   

Richard saw that heavy equipment operators were in demand.  There would be a lot of options with this training in a number of industries.  He had his eye on the mining industry which is rapidly growing in the region.  He decided to visit YES to explore his options.  He started working with Career Development Practitioner Stacy-Ann who told him about Better Jobs Ontario. 

Better Jobs Ontario provides skills training up to 52 weeks in duration for in-demand jobs.  It also offers financial support up to $28,000 to those who qualify.  Eligibility for the program includes individuals who: 

  • have been laid-off and have not been working or are working a temporary job just to cover costs 
  • have not been laid-off but have been unemployed for six months or longer and are part of a low-income household 

Richard worked with Stacy-Ann to put together all the elements necessary to apply for Heavy Equipment training through Transport Training Centres of Canada.  With his business closed for 6 months, Richard met the eligibility criteria, and his funding application was approved.  Now fully licensed to run a backhoe, excavator, bulldozer, and loader, Richard is working with Stacy-Ann to find a position with a mining company in the region.  He looks forward to a brighter future with better, steady pay, and the kind of job security that comes from having skills that are in demand.

If you are interested in learning more about Better Jobs Ontario, or the programs and services available through Employment Ontario programs, contact YES: 

Call 807-623-0768


Request an appointment: Connect with YES – YES Employment Services ( 

Celebrating Twins!

We held a little staff get-together to celebrate the birth of Diego’s twin boys. It certainly helped stuff January with joy! We are thrilled to congratulate Diego and his family.

Staff Profiles are Back!

A little bit about my role at YES: I am the Quality Assurance Analyst, I provide statistical information to my leadership team to ensure we are giving a consistently excellent level of service to our community.

During my time off, I like to: Spend a lot of time outdoors, I love fishing and hiking, camping in the summer, I love my friends and family, going for walks and coffee dates.

A fun fact you may not know about me is: I love to snowboard, it’s my part time passion.

A little about my role at YES: I am the Outreach Coordinator and a Career Develpment Practitioner. I work closely with clients in Thunder Bay, Nipigon and Red Rock. I also facilitate workshops on and off-site and provide information to the community on how YES can support their employment needs. 

During my time off I like to: I like to spend my time outdoors. In the summer I like to go for hikes, go swimming, and read a book by the beach. I also love to spend time with friends by going out for coffee, drinks, or dinner. On other days, I enjoy going to the gym and doing hot yoga. 

A fun fact you may not know about me: I will be taking my first trip outside of Canada this year.

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