Mohawk exports City School model to three other community colleges

Published in Momentum Fall 2021

With a goal of better matching local workforces to the needs of employers, Mohawk College is leading a partnership with the Future Skills Centre (FSC) to deliver training programs to equity-seeking groups across Canada. 

Through the partnership, Mohawk is now exporting its City School by Mohawk training model for a Material Handling program to three other community colleges—Vancouver Community College, Red River College in Winnipeg and Nova Scotia Community College in Halifax. 

“There are emerging needs within the goods movement area and those can be met by groups of unemployed and underemployed people in the local market,” said Natalie Shearer, Manager of Future Skills Partnerships at Mohawk. 

“This partnership will mean a larger collective impact through shared values and goals and leveraging resources and reach. We believe this model of free, community-based education will bring positive economic benefits.” 

Shearer expects the initiative to expand, with new program offerings and as the partnerships with these colleges grow.   

A third cohort has now begun the program in Hamilton, which focuses on both technical and 21st-century employment skills, including problem-solving, teamwork and communication. Six weeks of training is followed by a two-week paid placement.  

Funded by the federal government, the Future Skills Centre is a pan-Canadian initiative, connecting ideas and innovations generated across Canada so that employees and employers can succeed in the labour market, and to ensure that local, regional and national economies thrive.  

“This program fills a gap in the skills ecosystem by connecting postsecondary education with workforce development to prepare people for the careers of the future,” said Pedro Barata, FSC Executive Director. 

“Employers in the supply chain and material handling sector are facing labour shortages, while workers need different, more technical skills to meet the demands of this evolving sector. We’re pleased to support a learning model that has expanded across the country and that may apply to other sectors and regions.” 

FSC has granted Mohawk funding to support the training of 135 students in the Greater Hamilton Region, with an additional 108 students to be trained by the three partner institutions across Canada. 

Photo caption: David Parkinson, Learning Support Officer; Jim Vanderveken, Dean Centre for Community Partnerships & Experiential Learning; Natalie Shearer, Manager, Future Skills Partnerships; Dr. Pamela Ingleton, Learning Outcomes Assessment Consultant; Rida Masood, Research & Policy Analyst