Job seekers in rural Northern Ontario are still facing challenges when it comes to internet service.
Jordie Leggett, director of operations at Yes Employment Services, said weak internet service is one of the biggest challenges in 2021.
“We serve Mattawa and some surrounding rural areas. It’s difficult for those who want to gain employment but their internet performance isn’t good,” he said.
Leggett said others don’t have access to technology to apply for jobs or to participate in a Zoom interview.
He said Yes never had a lending library before, but when everything shut down they saw the need and responded.
The lending library consists of a variety of tablets that are loaned to clients.
“When the personal support worker program was offered in March 2020 in Mattawa, we had to lend out a lot of technology,” Leggett said.
“When the whole world turned virtual and someone has a choice to either pay their rent or buy a tablet, paying rent is the obvious priority. But now, we can help those who face these barriers.”
Leggett also said Yes Employment Services extended its Wi-Fi range to Main Street, which allowed those who were in need of a connection to get one outside of the building.
He said there are still many other challenges and barriers to employment for those living outside the city, such as transportation.
Leggett said some businesses are located outside city limits where there is no city transportation services, while others have different hours that don’t coincide with public transit.