Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rick Mercer - Paralympian Skier (in training)

Last week, Rick Mercer (CBC Mercer Report) did a wonderful piece on the upcoming Paralympics to be held in Vancouver and Whister in February 2010. Thank you Rick for raising attention to these heroic atheletes and their tremendous accomplishments. You can watch the entire segment at .

Below is a short segment of the show on sit-skiing. If you are a skier and would like to help prepare young para-atheletes to learn to sitski then contact Ontario Track3 Association for Disabled Skiers. We always need volunteers. or call (416) 233-3872


Steve Jones
Ontario Track 3 Ski Association for Disabled

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Patience & Perseverance

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish” – John Quincy

I thought that business might get easier with time and experience. Last year marked my 25th year in the Canadian staffing industry and my fourth tour as an industry association President, and yet “easier” is not how I would describe these unprecedented times. Although it’s difficult to predict the economy and short term business outlook, my experience says that we should have tremendous confidence in our medium and long term futures.

The ACSESS (Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services) organizational structure including our board, management, support staff, chapters and committees is stronger now than ever before. We have clearly established ACSESS as the highly respected single voice of the industry. We continue to develop greater expertise in the areas of government affairs, education, safety, business practices, ethics and conferences to a degree that we can all be very proud.

People continually ask me what I hear about in the industry and what I predict for our future. Here are a few of my predictions:

Prediction #1: The ACSESS conference to be held this spring in Montreal will be one of the best and highly attended conferences ever. In these challenging economic times, good business managers and owners will take the opportunity to network, learn and prepare for a roaring recovery.

Prediction #2: Staffing companies will play an integral and critical role in Canada’s recovery within the global economy. We will be a significant contributing factor when Canada competes and wins post recession business. We will offer new, innovative and better services to match and deliver the best people for jobs. We will do all this quickly, efficiently and seamlessly.

Prediction #3: Technology will enable us to deliver advanced value-added customer services including integration to customer payment systems, time and attendance reporting, dashboards for key performance indicators, applicant tracking systems, job board and internet integration, order management and vendor management. Staffing companies will be among the fastest adopters of new technologies within the entire services sector; this will be critical to our ability to leap forward.

Prediction #4: ACSESS and the CPC designation will continue to improve to such a degree that our acronyms will become synonymous with professional standards, ethics, and quality services. They will resonate with credibility. Other associations in other industries will look to us as a model for establishing industry professionalism and recognition.

Prediction #5: We will continue to be confronted with segments of the media that are addicted to misguided, uniformed sensationalism. Some elected officials will astonish us with their inaccurate industry generalizations and their desire to regulate and intervene. Some unions will continue to support groups that propagate misinformation about non-unionized industries. Unfortunately, there will always be a questionable staffing company, somewhere, that provides fodder to these destructive forces. Nevertheless, ACSESS will be seen by the mainstream public, government and media as the industry experts who can be relied upon for balance, expertise, truth and meaningful solutions.

I hope to see my fellow staffing profesional colleagues at the ACSESS conference in Montreal on April 30th . Participation at our conference (Prediction #1) is important to making the balance of the predictions come true.

Steve Jones
ACSESS National President

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ontario Track3 Association for Disabled Children

Conquering a Mountain

Ontario Track3 for disabled skiers is wrapping up the 2009 season. It seems too short! Each week of this winter, volunteers across the province showed up at different ski hills to help hundreds of children with special needs to experience the fun and excitement of adaptive skiing and snowboarding. In the seven weeks of this 2009 ski season, we saw so many children change and grow with confidence and pride. It was another fabulous year!

Imagine a child that lives each day with a cane, walker or wheel chair. "Transfers" and "Barriers" are regular occurances in daily living. A transfer from bed to wheel chair, another transfer from chair to toilet, transfer to vehicle, transfer, transfer, transfer. The curb, a slope and stairs are also barriers to daily living. When most kids see grass, fields, ice and sand they think of fun and games. Yet, our Track3 kids often see these same typical sources of happiness as transfers, barriers, obstacles and challenges.

Then imagine, that same child making one final transfer from a wheel chair to sit ski or some other adaptive ski equipment and all of a sudden a snowy mountain transforms from an obstacle to a source of excitement. All barriers fall and anything becomes possible including bumps, moguls, powder, snow, ice, chairlifts, and vertical height. Even though a curb was an obstacle yesterday, a mountain is conquered today. It is amazing!

Check out this photo video prepared by Track3 volunteer Tim Fryer. The photos were all taken by Tim at Craigleith Ski Club on Saturdays of 2009. It’s a wonderful tribute to Craigleith, the volunteers and especially the children and their extraordinary accomplishments.


Steve Jones,

The People Bank, Design Group Staffing Inc. & The Ontario Track3 Association for the Disabled.