The Gezhtoojig Commitment: L – R. Debbie Recollet – General Manager, Ron Sarazin – Special Projects Coordinator, Bev Brennan – Executive Assistant, Sandra Martin – Employment Services Officer, Kim Murray – Client Services Intake Officer, Reg Canard – Skills Development Coordinator, Winona Noganosh – Finance Administrator, Melissa O’Handley - Secretary

The Gezhtoojig Commitment: L – R. Debbie Recollet – General Manager, Ron Sarazin – Special Projects Coordinator, Bev Brennan – Executive Assistant, Sandra Martin – Employment Services Officer, Kim Murray – Client Services Intake Officer, Reg Canard – Skills Development Coordinator, Winona Noganosh – Finance Administrator, Melissa O’Handley – Secretary

Submitted by Cameron Petahtegoose

SUDBURY – On Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016, Gezhtoojig Employment and Training celebrated its 25th anniversary in recognition of the many achievements in serving the employment and training needs of Anishinabek people.

“Our 25th anniversary showcased the many individuals Gezhtoojig has helped with their employment and training needs, our organizational achievements and to celebrate all those that are part of the Gezhtoojig family,” stated Debbie Recollet, Gezhtoojig Employment and Training General Manager.

Gezhtoojig Employment and Training Board President Lloyd Myke states, “in the past two and half decades, we have financially assisted over 7,500 Anishinabek clients, of which, 58 per cent secured employment and 13 per cent returned to school for an overall success rate of 71 per cent.”  Myke also indicates, “We have provided our clients with over 19,000 employment and training assisted services.”

Despite funding challenges and membership changes, as well changes in labour markets, Gezhtoojig Employment and Training has continued to meet market demands and provide exceptional client-based opportunities to local First Nations.

Client success stories during the event demonstrated continued commitment to clients and two were showcased at the 25th anniversary celebration.  Previous Gezhtoojig clients and entrepreneur Jenn Taback of Design de Plume and Mike Jacko, a Line Crew Support Training Graduate shared their client experiences.   Jenn Taback stated, “don’t be afraid to ask questions as the design field is relatively new and nothing is laid out in stone.  Working for myself has allowed me the freedom to do what I want and work with the people that I want to work with.”

Special recognition was also made to founding elders Flora Tabobondung and Christine ‘Tina’ Mandamin, who have provided invaluable guidance to the organization and provided the name Gezhtoojig which translates to “Those Who Are Successful” in the Anishinaabe language.  Founding members, current board members and member First Nations were presented with distinguished awards to recognize their commitment to the Gezhtoojig family and Anishinabek people.

The 25th anniversary event also showcased employee commitment to clients over the past 25 years demonstrating teamwork is a cornerstone to being the leading resource centre for all Anishinabek people in employment and training services.

Gezhtoojig Employment and Training with a vision of First Nations determination will foster and direct Aboriginal employment and training initiatives.  We develop private and public partnerships with all employment and business sectors to promote the employability, sustainability and economic success of Anishinabek people.  We service the training and employment needs of the Sudbury, Parry Sound and North Bay region’s Aboriginal community.  Please visit at www.gezhtoojig.ca