Northern Community Development Services Corporation (NCDS) was incorporated in 1975 as a private charity. The mandate was to provide employment and training services for unemployed people. Among its successes are the long-running Rainy River District COPE Program (1977 - 1997), Youth Employment Services (Ministry of Education and Training, 1985 - 1997), and the 1982 launch of the Rainy River Business Development Corporation, now the Rainy River Future Development Corporation, which is still active in the economic development of the Rainy River District.
As part of the Community-Based Training sector, NCDS has also designed, developed and provided numerous short-term skill development projects, including Native Homemakers' Training, Office Administration Skills, Pre-Apprentice Electrical Training, and various computer courses.
In its current incarnation, NCDS has just completed 13 years of successful delivery of the Job Connect Program, a youth employment program delivered on behalf of the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. The program was designed to meet the employment needs of youth aged 16 to 24-year-olds throughout the district. In conjunction with the Job Connect program, NCDS also undertakes a program known as the Summer Jobs Service. The program is designed to assist students returning to the Rainy River District to find work over the summer months before re-entering school in the fall. This has been another very successful program over the last 13 years.
In September of 1997, NCDS was contracted to deliver Case Management services focused around HRSDC’s Skills Development Program and provide Resource Centre staff to assist individuals with their job search. This service was co-located on HRSDC’s premises. However, in April 2003 NCDS once again expanded its services to establish Skills & Employment Source, a program funded by HRSDC to provide the community with a Public Access Resource Centre, to assist the public at large with their employment search. Skills & Employment Source also provided job seekers and employers assistance with applications for Wage Subsidy Programs and Skills Development; both programs enabled unemployed/underemployed individuals to obtain the skills necessary for full-time employment.
NCDS submitted proposals to HRSDC/Service Canada and NCDS received funding to provide and facilitate Skills Link Programs (2002, 2006 and 2009). The programs targeted barriered youth from the Rainy River District.
With the advent of the LMDA in January 2007 Northern Community Development Services became a co-located agency providing Job Connect, Summer Job Service and Employment Assistance Services funded by Employment Ontario.
In 2010 NCDS once again went through further changes when it was selected by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities to provide the new Employment Ontario slate of programs. This signalled the wind down of the Job Connect Program and Skills and Employment Source that were replaced by Employment Ontario’s new enhanced services.
NCDS Job Connect Program has been the recipients of the MTCU Minister’s Award for Service Innovation in 2006 and the MTCU Minister’s Award for Excellence in Service Quality in 2007.
In 2007 NCDS initiated, planned, sought funding and hosted a very successful traditional Gathering. This Gathering brought together local 10 First Nations, Métis Federation, stakeholders and government agencies totalling 106 attendees to identify barriers to employment of young aboriginals. In recognition of this event, NCDS received a letter of congratulations from Mr. Ken Boshcoff, MP.
NCDS maintains memberships in the following professional organizations: ONESTEP (Ontario Network of Employment Skills Training Projects), OAYEC (Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres), and OACDP (Ontario Alliance of Career Development Practitioners), and NTAB (Northwest Training and Adjustment Board).
A volunteer Board of Directors from throughout the Rainy River District governs NCDS.