Northern College Continues to Provide Support to Those Impacted by Covid-19

April 7, 2020

TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is working to make emergency relief funds available to full-time post-secondary students on its Timmins, Haileybury, Moosonee and Kirkland Lake campuses as early as May. These funds will be drawn from the College’s share of the 25-million-dollar post-secondary subsidy the province announced late last week and augmented by Northern’s own contributions to ensure that the amount students receive is enough to make a difference to them.

“We are uniquely equipped and willing to help our learners, communities and region manage during times of uncertainty and hardship like this one,” stated Dr. Fred Gibbons, President and CEO of Northern College. “As we are forced to self-isolate and exercise safe physical distances from one another in the face of this outbreak, we must keep in mind that when we are led by cooperation, compassion, and helping one another, we are much more likely to endure the challenges facing us collectively at this time.”

With employers experiencing shortages calling the College for workers, Employment Options Emploi will continue to connect community employers in communities across the North with Northern students and graduates in specific fields to help fill the growing demand for workers, particularly for those in social service, health care and community support essential service areas.

Northern College is also busy aiding in the ongoing fight against Covid-19 by working closely with government and community partners to provide resources, housing and supplies to frontline workers wherever possible. To the North, the College is converting part of its Moosonee Campus into a field hospital in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Weeneebayko Area Health Authority to ensure that non-Covid-19 patients have a safe place to seek treatment on the James Bay Coast. This is in addition to housing 40 vulnerable people in partnership with Living Space at its Timmins Campus recently.

“We are glad to help in this ongoing effort to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic,” stated Dr. Fred Gibbons, Northern College’s President and CEO. “Northern College made a commitment to provide services to those coastal communities and we are pleased to have this chance to open up the facilities necessary to help ensure the health and well-being of our coastal partners as we all stand together in the face of this extraordinary situation.”

The College has also taken an inventory of supplies for redistribution to health care providers which the Ministry of Health will be responsible for taking the direction on redistributing to meet critical needs. These supplies have been primarily from the College’s health care and vet tech programs. Another load of supplies was provided locally to the Porcupine Health Unit earlier last month.

In its new Innovation Hub, the College is exploring how to help with the effort to provide additional supplies to protect health care workers as they fight Covid-19, offering its fleet of 3D printers and other innovative technologies to develop and manufacture much-needed medical protective supplies such as the headpiece to secure face shield protection used primarily in the health care field.

“We have the equipment and are exploring how we can help best in these times,” stated Dr. Audrey Penner, Vice-President, Academic and Student Success at Northern. “We know that our health care workers are facing shortages in the crucial protective gear that allow them to combat this virus in the safest manner possible. Pivoting from our primary business of educating learners who are now learning remotely and re-tooling our innovative research in technology toward the development of PPE (personal protective equipment) will help find solutions to greater support this growing demand.”

Northern College will also continue to provide necessary services remotely to those in need during this difficult time, working to ensure that the resources at their disposal are put to the best use for the benefit of as many as possible.
Northern College takes its role as a community partner and contributor seriously, and is proud and pleased to contribute to support the community and its learners at a time of great uncertainty.

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