We are seeing a significant increase in cases in two areas of the Laurentians region, and that is why we are asking the population to double down on their efforts and vigilance.
Christian Dubé, Health Minister
The Laurentians region, known as Laurentides in French, has seen a total of 8,683 COVID-19 cases and 343 deaths since the pandemic began.
The Pays-d'en-Haut subregion is responsible for 508 of the 8,683 cases, with a rate of 1,145.12 cases per 100,000 Quebecers.
It is also currently the part of the Laurentians region with the highest rate of active cases per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, the MRC des Laurentides subregion is reported as having 379 total cases, with a rate of 789.32 cases per 100,000 people and 48 active cases with a rate of 99.97 active cases per 100,000 people.
Melanie Ann Layer is a 33-year-old entrepreneur, founder and head of Alpha Femme, a luxury boutique coaching firm. Narcity Québec reports that in August, she made history in the Lower Laurentides with the purchase of a nearly $5 million mansion — a record sale for the Quebec subregion.
Layer spoke to Narcity Québec about her career journey, including a low point in which she had to sleep in her car.
How did Melanie Ann Layer start her career as a coach?
Layer described how, at age 25, she found herself without a job after breaking up with a boyfriend who had been a manager at the company she had been working for, Narcity writes. She relocated to Sherbrooke but initially failed to find success despite an aptitude for sales.
"I couldn't sell anymore. Everything I had always been able to do effortlessly, all of a sudden, there was nothing that worked at all," she said.
"I went from being the best salesperson in the whole company to not being able to sell a thing. Then my money started to [plummet]. I remember it was at a time with my family that it was really not going well. I was mad at everyone, I felt like everyone had contributed to the fact that it wasn't working out so well in my life."
She said she went broke as a result, eventually becoming unable to afford her accommodation.
"I'll never forget the first night I couldn't pay for my room in the motel I was staying at, and I had to sleep in my Civic," she told Narcity. "It was like the culmination of the worst time of my life."
How did Alpha Femme start?
Then a conversation with a friend put Layer on the coaching track.
"I have a friend who randomly called me to talk to me. She was struggling and what I had started to do for myself, I kind of introduced her to that." Others soon reached out for advice as well, Narcity writes.
Layer went on to start a scrappy coaching firm, charging $100 an hour. "I started my business and my name was 'the invisible coach.' It was really just word of mouth, that was the only way to find me."
In 2017, she took her business to social media. It exploded.
"I started a Facebook group and an Instagram page. Instead of being a life coach who was making maybe $100,000 to $200,000 a year, all of a sudden it started to grow. And what I was teaching was very cutting edge, the way I talk, the way I see things. It got a lot of attention."
Fast forward to 2021, and Alpha Femme is having its "best year ever," Layer told Narcity.
"What's special is that it started in 2017, and we made a million, before taxes, before all that. The other year we did $2.5 million, the other year we did $8.5 million and now we're up to $14 million in revenue."
What is Layer's advice for success?
But despite the success, insecurity can still haunt Layer. She said she has to remind herself that she deserves her success.
"What's hard is to have a drastic life change in the middle of your life and really be okay with it and say you deserve to be here."
"I didn't have a normal trajectory. I'm 33 years old, and I've lived and created a lot in those 33 years. It's trying to ground myself in the right to live this life right now and have what I have, to feel deeply that it's right and that I deserve it. That, I think, is the hardest part."
Her advice to those who will listen: "Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to anyone if you know inside you that it's right."
Narcity reports that Layer plans to move into her $5 million home in April 2022.
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Since July 1, it has been possible for people who have had to recover from unemployment due to the pandemic and for people who have not been studying full time in the last 12 months to register for one of the training programs of the Program for the requalification and the accompaniment in information technology and communications (PRATIC).
Whether it's a college or university program, a certificate, an attestation of college studies (AEC) or a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), among others, there are 142 training programs waiting for future students.
In Montreal alone, nearly sixty college programs and 20 university programs are available, and a total of 15 in the Capitale-Nationale region.
There are, for example, ACSs in programming, multimedia production, mobile application development or graphic design, to name a few.
The complete list of training courses offered by region can be found on the government website.
Thanks to a budget of some $39.6 million, financial assistance of $650 per week will be offered to 2,500 Quebecers for the duration of their full-time training. A $1,950 bursary will be awarded to graduates.
Who is eligible to enroll in PRATIC?
Two criteria will determine if a person is eligible to register for PRATIC. You must be unemployed and not have been a full-time student in the 12 months prior to applying.
The government suggests that you contact the Services Québec office in your area and an agent will determine with the future student if PRATIC corresponds to his/her needs.