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Whitecourt region receiving funding for COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project

The Whitecourt region will be receiving funding to complete a COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project.

The Province of Alberta is working in partnership with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services, and the Government of Alberta’s Labour Market Partnership Program has allocated $59,000 to the Whitecourt region for their COVID-19 Impact Assessment Project.

“The impacts of COVID-19 have and will continue to change how business and industry hire staff, address labour force challenges and respond to consumer behavior,” stated Whitecourt Mayor Maryann Chichak in a press release. “This project will involve the implementation of an extensive business outreach platform to align programs, communications and plans between employees, employers, training providers, post-secondary institutions, and other organizations in the region.”

In March 2020, the Town of Whitecourt launched an Economic Supports and Recovery Task Team to leverage resources and provide a coordinated response to supporting businesses in the community throughout the pandemic.

As a result of discussions and information gathered, Whitecourt, Community Futures Yellowhead East and the Whitecourt & District Chamber of Commerce submitted a proposal to the Labour Market Partnership Program to complete the COVID-19 impact assessment and recovery strategy.

The Town of Whitecourt says the approved project is jointly funded by the partners with support through the Labour Market Partnership Program and will provide a proactive plan to best meet the needs of the business community and its employees as the COVID-19 pandemic situation evolves.

Components of the local project include:
• implementing a COVID-19 Economic Impact Assessment for the Whitecourt region, including communicating with and aligning the project with employers, employees, training providers, post-secondary institutions, and various organizations in the Whitecourt region;
• identifying immediate labour force needs and challenges and making recommendations on strategies needed to support the findings;
• identifying long-term challenges, anticipated labour force trends due to COVID-19, and strategies to support employees and employers in the long term;
• capitalizing on the findings making recommendations to determine the best approach to assist with implementation of business and labour force retention strategies moving forward.

Work on the project has begun and it is anticipated to be completed over the next 12 months with continued assessment on the impacts into the future.

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AJHL planning September start for 2020-21 season

Junior hockey may be returning in the province this fall.

Alberta Junior Hockey League officials say they are planning to begin the 2020-21 season in September, should provincial health regulations allow it.

The League says it will announce a tentative schedule, which includes a modified schedule format for its 15 teams, in early July alongside contingency plans for a delayed season start.

The 14th Annual AJHL Showcase, originally scheduled for September 24– 26 in Camrose, has been postponed with a desire to host the event in the second half of the season.

The 2020-21 season will be the 57th in the AJHL’s history.

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