Construction Trades Exploration Program
This program developed by the Toronto District School Board, allows students to spend a week at our facility to get a feel for what the construction industry has to offer. We also provide these students with the health and safety courses they will need to be job placement ready.
Miziwe Biik is an aboriginal focused initiative to transition aboriginals into a career in construction.
Firstly I would like to recognize the tremendous efforts put forth by the 183 staff and trainers who’s commitment lead to the overall success of the program. We started with 12 participants and ended with 9 successfully completing all the course components. In respect to numbers this is a great achievement. The training that the participants received is what ultimately resulted in 9 of those securing meaningful employment with contractors across the GTA in various capacities, largely relating to the specific training received. As far as training programs go and from my own experience working in Pre-Apprenticeships, this program was one of the more successful initiates Miziwe Biik has embarked on in regards to successful outcomes and employment.
Gavin Lawrence-Job Developer, Miziwe Biik
The Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program is a partnership we are very proud of. We currently partner with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Toronto District School Board as well as the Peel District School Board. Students spend 8 weeks at our facility taking part in the CCW Level 1 program before going out to job placements. We have had much success with assisting the younger generation in discovering how lucrative the field of construction can be.
JVS Toronto is a non-profit leader in career and employment services for jobseekers and employers and is one of our newer partnerships. We customise a program to meet the specific needs of the JVS students to provide them with the necessary skills they would need to be job ready and prepare them for the construction workforce.
Kagita Mikam was established to provide a cooperative working relationship with all Aboriginal First Nations, organizations and associations within the service catchment area, which is from the Cobourg area right to Ottawa.
This cooperative working relationship will ensure that the employment and training needs of the aboriginal people in the area will be addressed. Kagita Mikam is attempting to increase the skill level of aboriginal people to find permanent employment. We have partnered with them to provide and 8-week Introduction to Construction program to their clients at our Cobourg Campus. This is a new partnership for the Training Centre and we are pleased to be able to grow our partnership out East. There is also interest to run a program at our Kingston Campus for those clients in that area as well.
Below is a letter from Gavin Lawrence, who is the Project Coordinator for Kagita Mikam.
To LiUNA Local 183 Training Centre,
I am writing today to firstly thank you for hosting the PAID Career Fair on November 15, 2016 at your Cobourg Campus. I can’t express how grateful I am for your contribution of space, time and staff who went above and beyond to ensure the event was a success. The feedback I have received so far is nothing but positive and I am looking forward to working with your organization on similar events in the future. I would especially like to thank Laura Cortez, Michael Perry and Carlos Morais for everything they did leading up to, during and after the event.
More importantly I am writing to thank you for your continuous efforts with the Partners on Aboriginal Inclusion Durham-GTA (PAID) project, the Aboriginal Apprenticeship Board of Ontario (AABO) Clarington-GTA Link
Committee and ultimately the Aboriginal community we serve.
It was LiUNA Local 183 Training Centre that approached me a few years ago to discuss partnering to develop an Aboriginal specific training program at your Vaughn campus. Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training partnered with LiUNA Local 183 Training Centre and developed a program called Introduction to Construction. The course ended with 9 of 12 graduating and moving on to employment across the GTA. Employment gained from the skills, experience and health and safety taught in the program.
Fast forward three years.
When I was offered the opportunity to create another training program while overseeing the PAID project at Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment and Training, I immediately contacted Lisa Pryce. Based on my previous experience, I knew that a program ran in partnership with the LiUNA Local 183 Training Centre Cobourg Campus would end positively. The training program that was put together this Summer was nothing short of a triumphant success. Michael Perry did an amazing job coaching and molding the students. Upon graduation, due to the hard work and dedication of the both students and instructors, Local 183 awarded each graduate a well-earned opportunity to join the Union.
Five members of the Aboriginal community’s lives have changed. They have direction, their families are being provided for and they can begin looking forward to a future of positivity and opportunity.
Why? Because they get to wake up each morning and put on a pair of work boots.
Miigwetch (Thank you) for your efforts, I am looking forward to partnering on our next successful initiative.
Gavin Lawrence, Project Coordinator – Partners on Aboriginal Inclusion Durham-GTA (PAID) Kagita Mikam Aboriginal Employment and Training
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