LAS Back-to-School Update
When the calendar switches over to September, back to school season often marks the beginning of a brand-new year for many people – a fresh start for students returning to classrooms, a restart of the curriculum of educators, and a breath of relief for (some) parents tasked with keeping kids entertained throughout those long days of summer.
Although back to school looks a little different this year as COVID-19 persists, it’s business (physically distanced) as usual here at LAS. We are committed to moving forward this fall with new offerings with a view to help scale solutions for all municipalities. As always, our current programs and services continue to expand and improve and are available anytime you need them.
Here’s what happening this fall:
October is Cyber Security Awareness Month. AMO’s Digital Government Task Force is finalizing a report that provides elected officials and senior municipal staff with a toolkit to help with local cyber security efforts as well as help municipalities manage the risk of a potential cyber-attack. Stay tuned for the release of that report later this fall. We will also be working with our partners at MISA-Ontario to offer a virtual event to municipal staff and elected officials on the basic “need-to-knows” about municipal cyber security. Please save the date of Thursday, October 22 for that event. Further details including registration, agenda and speakers will be announced through AMO’s channels.
Our digital services continue to evolve, particularly now in our current state of remote working to help municipalities digitally transform while maintaining business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a snapshot of what’s being offered:
- Digital and Electronic Signature solutions – although we are working remotely, to ensure effective business continuity, critical municipal documents still need to be signed. Find out how the digital and electronic signing solutions Notarius is offering can work best for your municipality
- Digital Meeting Management and Livestreaming solutions – amendments to the Municipal Act this summer now permit councils and local boards the option to meet electronically at any time. Discover the scalable digital meeting solutions for municipalities of all sizes that eSCRIBE is offering AMO members.
- Digital Citizen Relationship Management (CRM) – your residents still need to interact with their municipality whether its reporting pot holes to acquiring marriage licenses, addressing concerns like a missed recycling pickup, and scheduling field services, a digital CRM allows you to proactively manage citizen engagement and act upon requests in a timely manner without the need for residents to appear in person at municipal offices. Find out how AMO’s partner Frequency Foundry has scaled their 3-1-1 CRM system to all municipalities.
- Accessible websites, eprocurement, digital forms, and contact tracing – our partners at eSolutionsGroup are offering a variety of digital solutions to help your municipality’s business operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Digital Mental Health Therapy – the well-being of your employees’ mental health is critical, especially during the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how BEACON’s digital cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) supports your municipal employees from wherever and whenever they are most comfortable through the convenience of a smartphone, tablet or computer. BEACON offers preferred pricing for AMO members.
LAS is also continuing to grow its Municipal Group Buying Program to save time and money on the purchases you make every day. We’ve expanded to more than 125 vendors across a wide range of categories. New offerings include:
- Capital Purchasing – New Categories
- Firefighting Equipment and PPE
- Airport Runway and Emergency Equipment
- Technology Solutions
- Ground Engagement Supplies
This program has already been embraced by many of Ontario’s municipalities, making it part of the way they do business every day. We will be starting a webinar series this fall to provide more information on the various components of the program.
We’re continuing to expand the program and are regularly running RFPs to make more products and services available. To see what we’re working on, check out our Bid Opportunities page.
Our team is here to help you navigate this new type of purchasing, please contact us to learn more.
The LAS Energy Planning Tool will be getting a significant update towards the end of this year, modernizing the interface and making your annual reporting even easier. Stay tuned for more updates and a live demonstration later this year.
Fall 2020 will also be a near return to normalcy for the AMO Policy Centre and its advocacy efforts with the province on a number of key municipal issues. LAS will continue to work closely with our colleagues at AMO Policy for future potential programs that would benefit municipalities.
We would like to thank Ontario’s municipalities for your ongoing support during what has been a challenging summer for us all. We’re here to help your communities work better as our students return to school and municipalities continue to make the lives of their residents better.