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OneWorkSource Creates New Web Series ‘North Country Works’

PLATTSBURGH — The North Country Workforce Development Board recently launched its “North Country Works” web series on its OneWorkSource YouTube channel. 

The North Country Works web series features best practices from OneWorkSource, such as current tips for applying for unemployment insurance as well as other helpful information from the staff at the regional OneWorkSource centers. Viewers will learn firsthand from regional professionals regarding what they are looking for in their workforce, as well as trainings being offered. The web series will also feature testimonials from clients who have utilized OneWorkSource services.

“The videos are an additional communication tool for our customers so they can familiarize themselves with services offered at the OneWorkSource Centers, especially now that our services are only offered by appointment due to the pandemic,” North Country Workforce Development Board Executive Director Sylvie Nelson said. 

Joshua Kretser, of the North Country Workforce Development Board and OneWorkSource, said the web series was more important than ever due to unemployment levels being at an all-time high. 

“Businesses and organizations worldwide have been finding creative solutions to provide their services to their communities,” he said. “The ‘North Country Works’ web series allows OneWorkSource staff to continue to assist residents of the Adirondack Coast with employment related solutions at a time when they are needed most.”

For more information contact Kretser at 646-229-8986 or by email at


Foundation receives grant to expand aquatic invasive species harvesting

SARANAC LAKE — The Upper Saranac Foundation was awarded a $19,000 matching grant from the New York State Environmental Protection Fund’s Park and Trail Partnership Grants program to expand efforts of controlling and preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species, or AIS, in the Upper Saranac Lake watershed at Fish Creek Campground.

The Upper Saranac Foundation has been successfully managing AIS since 2004. Through the efforts of hand harvesting by divers, the annual poundage removed on USL has been reduced from 18 tons in 2004 to under 300 pounds in 2019. Further expansion of AIS prevention within the watershed will assist in decreasing AIS impacts on USL.

The Fish Creek AIS Spread Prevention and Containment Project combats invasive species to improve water quality and maintain native species in their natural habitats, ensuring the sustainability of our natural public resources for future generations. The program protects economic value through recreation, tourism, sportsmanship and second home ownership by providing clear waterways. Removal and control of AIS in Fish Creek, upstream of the campground, protects downstream waters from infestation and helps prevent the export of AIS to non-infested waters.

The Upper Saranac Foundation will support this project by matching funding and services for a project budget total of $26,000. The grant is one of 29 awards totaling $900,000 for organizations dedicated to the stewardship and promotion of New York’s state parks, historic sites, trails and public lands. The grants will be matched by over $300,000 in private and local funding and will support projects to strengthen friends groups and enhance public access and recreational opportunities. 

“It’s inspiring to see the transformational effect of the Park and Trail Partnership Grants and how they are enhancing the ability of friends groups to make an even greater contribution to the stewardship of New York’s great outdoor spaces,” Parks & Trails New York Executive Director Robin Dropkin said. “These grant funds will enable groups to leverage more private and federal funding, marshal more volunteer power, and augment the state’s historic investment in parks, trails and other public outdoor places.”


Alliance for Positive Health announces new board members

ALBANY — The Alliance for Positive Health recently announced the appointment of three new members to the board of directors.

The Alliance for Positive Health is a not-for-profit human service agency whose mission is to reduce the risk and incidence of HIV/AIDS and other serious medical and social conditions. The nonprofit is the preeminent provider of AIDS services in a 15-county region in upstate New York with offices in Albany, Hudson Falls, Hudson, Plattsburgh and Schenectady. 

Ian DeMeritt joined the board with over 15 years of experience creating effective medical communications. For the past six years, DeMeritt has served as head of the medical strategy department at Fingerpaint, which is a full-service health and wellness agency based in Saratoga Springs. In this role, he manages a team of medical strategists and writers to deliver scientifically focused content for a number of pharmaceutical clients. Prior to joining Fingerpaint, he spent eight years at the healthcare communications agency Palio, where he helped launch multiple HIV medications. DeMeritt graduated from Virginia Tech with both a bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degree and earned his PhD in microbiology and immunology from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La. 

Larry Waite joined the board as a recent retiree with 42 years in the field of education, serving as a classroom special education teacher, educator trainer and in leadership positions at the New York State Education Department and New York State United Teachers. He received a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Albany. Waite has used his leadership, problem solving, team building and fiscal management skills to effectively guide his accomplishments in each of these professional experiences and brings them to his new role as a member of the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Positive Health. he is a past board member of Our Brothers’ Keepers and currently is involved in local political and literacy organizations. He has three children and three grandchildren and currently resides in Kinderhook with his partner and dog, Achilles.

Joseph Yetto, the president of TAG Solutions and Cyberstone, joined the board, as well. TAG Solutions is a regional managed services provider that delivers information technology consulting and support services to over 500 unique organizations in the Capital Area Region and Western New York. Cyberstone is a company that specializes in mitigating cyber threats and vulnerabilities for organizations across the U.S. Yetto is responsible for all business development and operational aspects of both TAG Solutions and Cyberstone. He is passionate about continuously improving the customer experience and helping companies simplify the inherent complexities of information technology and cyber security. He recognizes how quickly technology changes and therefore remains active in several industry communities and peer groups. Yetto loves to mentor and coach young professionals and has been an adjunct instructor for the Mahoney Performance Institute since 2015 where he has the opportunity to teach a course on Personal Leadership. Outside of his professional work, he loves being a father and spends lots of time with his family and friends. He coaches little league baseball and youth football and enjoys hiking and camping in the Adirondack National Park.


Citizen Advocates welcomes new board president and member

MALONE — The Citizen Advocates Board of Directors elected a new president and welcomed a new board member at a recent meeting.

Nick Eells, who has been on the board since 2012 and served as treasurer since 2015, was recently elected board president. Eells also serves on the boards of the University of Vermont Health Network-Alice Hyde Medical Center and the Malone Golf Club. The Village of Malone resident is the managing partner of The Hoffman Eells Group CPAs, a public accounting firm with offices in Malone, Lake Placid and Plattsburgh. He is also a registered investment advisor with Avantax Advisory Services, providing asset management services to individuals.

“Growing up in the North Country has provided me with a first-hand perspective of how vital the services are that Citizen Advocates provides in our communities,” Eells said. “I am especially proud of the commitment our team members demonstrate on a daily basis as they strive to provide the best healthcare possible.”

Lori Tourville, the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Instructional Services at Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES, joined the board as its new member. She has been a school administrator in the Malone and Chateaugay districts for the last 15 years, and began her career in education as an elementary school librarian.

“I believe my role in public education will help bridge or serve as a connector around some of the services for the youth and families we all serve,” Tourville said. “I am deeply honored to have been invited to join the board, and look forward to serving the community.”

In addition to Eells and Tourville, the board of directors also includes Vice President Jennifer Bilow, Secretary Deanna Smith, Brock Arnold, Paul Goodrow and Felix Tam.

“We are so grateful for the generous contribution of time and talent that each board member brings to the table,” Citizens Advocates CEO James Button said. “These individuals share our commitment to our 750-member workforce, and ensuring those we support receive the best-in-class clinical care, housing and community services.”

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