Contact North has opened another location to help meet the educational needs of the community. On Thursday, July 14, the organization moved into a very large conference room within the Native Education & Training College, located at 147 McIntyre St. West.
The two organizations have worked together in the past, and now that they are sharing a roof, these collaborations are expected to grow even more. Contact North helps connect people with online post-secondary studies, and the Native Education & Training College provides online learning opportunities, so sharing a space was natural fit.
“Contact North is in many communities across Ontario,” explained Gail Cook, the manager of corporate and community partnerships for the college. “They are also a not-for-profit, funded through the Ministry of Colleges and Universities, so they try to partner with other like-minded institutions or organizations.”
“This is all new to them to be in downtown North Bay,” Cook said, noting there is another office located at Canadore College’s Commerce Court Campus. “Our partnership is growing,” she said. “We have worked with them in the past, but we can work a lot closer now.”
Cook noted the location has a lot of foot traffic, and a “lot of exposure” to downtown residents who might have difficulty accessing the Commerce Court Campus. “They can do a lot of good for the downtown core, and we’re happy to welcome Contact North.”
To celebrate the soft-opening—there are still plans to create some partitions for offices and add some different furniture—Ryan Sloane of Contact North provided an informative overview of many of the programs and services on offer. He mentioned that the organization has around 180,000 registrations per year and help connect students with close to 42,000 online courses.
“Not everyone learns the same way,” he emphasized, and the programs Contact North connects students too most often can be completed “online, anytime.” Contact North also helps with academic upgrading and offers many other courses as well.
Peter Mihaichuk of Cultural Industries Ontario North made the trek from Sudbury to share information about employment opportunities available within the film industry.
“We really wanted a location that was close to our community partners,” explained Kristen Hanlon, the education and training advisor at Contact North. “A centralized location will help people walk on in,” she emphasized, noting the easier access will make the services more convenient for many.
“The goal for us at Contact North is to remove barriers between people and the education that they want,” she said. “For us, this is the perfect spot to be.”
David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.
David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca