The YMCA of North Bay and the YMCA of Sudbury will now be known as the YMCA of Northeastern Ontario after the two branches have joined together as one organization. After six years of joint management under one CEO, the two YMCAs entered into an alliance agreement last May. Since that time both boards have approved the amalgamation, and so has the office of the Public Guardian and Trustee Service Ontario. The YMCA believes working together under one mission gives them an opportunity to better serve children and families in both North Bay and Sudbury, as well as in surrounding communities.

President and CEO Kim Kanmacher says the amalgamation will allow the YMCA to service even more of the region with two facilities and with partners who are also focused on building a healthy community. She says as one organization, they can gain insight into the needs and a cross the broader region and better focus on critical issues such as social isolation poverty, income inequality and healthy child and adolescent development by using their shared resources.

YMCA Board Chair Helen Francis says as a result of this move, no staff has been lost nor do they plan to cut anyone loose. Francis says this move is very significant, and it’s something that has been in the works for almost six years. Francis says during the six-year period, they recognized there was a challenge retaining people in many positions because there wasn’t enough potential and opportunity. She says one big advantage of coming together is a growth in job prospects.

Francis hopes they can also attract different partnerships and sponsorships on a regional level to help sustain programs that reach beyond their current community borders. As far as what people can expect to see when they walk into the YMCA for the next little while, Francis says immediately they shouldn’t see any different in their services and programs. She finished by saying the hope is in the longer term people will see better quality service and expanded programs.