Construction Connections – Building Careers and Communities

Construction Connections – Building Careers and Communities A construction sector workforce development and employment services hub for job seekers and.


Construction Connections – Building Careers and Communities A construction sector workforce development and employment services hub for job seekers and employers in Toronto. As part of a broader workforce development pathway pilot in the construction sector, Construction Connections is a sector-focused one-stop-shop that links Toronto job seekers with training, employment and career supports, while providing employers with suitable, qualified candidates. Construction Connections has three main objectives: Help job seekers navigate the construction training and apprenticeship system by providing career and employment planning services through dedicated, sector-focused case management. Provide a pipeline of suitable, qualified
candidates for construction sector employers seeking apprentices and other skilled workers. Implement a sector-based, workforce development pathway model that is built on strong partnerships across a wide range of stakeholders, including government, non-profit, charitable, private sector, labour and community organizations. Who is involved? Leadership is provided across several organizations all working towards a common goal of helping to achieve an inclusive labour market. These organizations work together in partnership through three main bodies: a senior leadership table, an advisory group and a service delivery team. Partner organizations contribute to Construction Connections in several ways, by providing strategic leadership; project planning and
coordination; direct or in-kind investment; expert knowledge and advisory; or direct service delivery. This partnership model has many obvious benefits, including the ability to combine knowledge and resources for greater collective impact. For example, as part of this pilot project,
the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has contracted the YMCA to work alongside TESS staff in an integrated service delivery team, resulting in, an increased
capacity to provide more job seekers with focused, high quality construction sector
career planning and employment services. Construction Connections serves both the supply and demand sides of the construction sector labour market in Toronto. On the supply side, Construction Connections is designed to support job seekers in Toronto who need help the most. This includes low-income residents facing economic barriers, residents of Neighbourhood Improvement Areas and equity-seeking groups who have been historically underrepresented in the construction sector – including people from racialized communities, women and Aboriginal people. Considering the prominence of the apprenticeship system in construction, there is also a specific focus on youth aged 18 to 29. On the demand side, Construction Connections has an initial focus on supporting employers connected to three types of construction development projects in Toronto: Publicly funded infrastructure projects with community benefits commitments, starting with the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit
Development; Projects identified through the City’s Social Procurement Program that includes workforce development requirements; and
Community revitalization projects that improve or increase subsidized housing. It is anticipated that Construction Connections will be able to support the training and placement of construction trade apprentices and other skilled workers required for several projects across these types of developments. The numbers, types and timing of jobs available varies within and across construction projects. Members of the Construction Connections team are continuously working to ensure a balance between the needs of the supply and demand sides of the equation. What does Construction Connections look like and how does it work? Construction Connections is a sector-focused workforce development and employment services hub where Case Managers work with job seekers to assess their needs and develop customized employment service plans for a career in the construction sector. Located at the TESS Employment Centre at Yonge and Eglinton, TESS and YMCA staff work side-by-side to provide a full suite of employment planning and preparation services including; construction trades information, including training and
employment prerequisites; soft skills coaching; customized essential skills training; social
supports, including mental health coaching; pre-employment training, such as health & safety certifications; direct access or referrals to pre-apprenticeship and trades training
programs; connections to financial benefits for clothing, tools and certifications; and
job placement and retention supports. This one-stop-shop approach increases access
to services when they are needed and improves the consistency and continuity of services
provided throughout and across individual employment service plans. By working closely with labour councils, trade unions, employers and developers in the construction industry, Construction Connections staff can ensure that job seekers who need help the most are assessed for the right aptitudes,
provided with the most current and relevant training, and equipped with the tools and
supports they need to perform on the job. As a result, Construction Connections can
serve both the immediate human resource needs of employers and the long-term workforce needs of the sector. For Toronto and the region, Construction Connections provides a valuable opportunity to apply and learn from an integrated approach to sector-focused workforce development planning and management. Lessons learned from this model can help inform future efforts to create similar workforce development pathways for other employment sectors and geographies. Construction Connections has already begun to provide information and orientation sessions to a range of job seekers, starting with residents from communities across the Eglinton corridor. Staff will continue working with job seekers, community agencies, labour unions, trades training providers and construction sector
employers to build a strong pipeline of suitable, qualified workers for future employment opportunities. Construction Connections – Building Careers and Communities

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