A new pilot program designed to address local workforce entry and labour shortage needs in the hospitality sector kicks off this month in partnership with FutureSSM, the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB), the Workforce Entry Subcommittee and local hotels.
The Hospitality Training Program runs for 4 weeks, and offers people in receipt of Ontario Works (OW) with hands on training at local hotels. The program is designed to provide real-life training opportunities with a focus on social skills development and hotel related technical skills training. The end goal is that participants will receive full time employment in the sector.
“The goal of the Hospitality Training Program is to remove workforce barriers for local citizens, while also addressing immediate labour needs of Sault Ste. Marie hotel owners,” stated Paul Sayers, FutureSSM’s Labour Force Development Coordinator. “All community members deserve the opportunity to realize their full potential, and we’re hopeful this program will contribute to that.”
Throughout the 4 week program, various training will be delivered by the Sault Community Career Centre, Sault College Employment Solutions, the John Howard Society, the Sault Ste. Marie’s DSSAB, and Strong Minds.
Sault Ste. Marie’s DSSAB worked with clients to ensure there was a good fit with the program. In total, 43 placements have been secured with 12 hotels and one restaurant including The Water Tower Inn, Quality Inn & Suites, Johnny’s Chophouse & Bar, Quattro Hotel, Days Inn, Sleep Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Comfort Inn, Microtel, The Northlander, Super 8, Delta Hotel and Fairfield by Marriott.
Needs of employers are in the following areas: housekeeping, front desk, breakfast service, culinary, maintenance, kitchen, banquets and restaurant.
“We have always lived by the values of community involvement, participating in the betterment of our community and being a learning company that embraces growth and professional development,” stated Heather Lang, Assistant General Manager at the Water Tower Inn. “This initiative not only speaks to these values but will give participants the opportunity to become passionate about the hospitality industry and truly experience the art of hospitality.”
This initiative is being piloted through the Workforce Entry Subcommittee under the FutureSSM Social Equity Pillar. Later this fall, the program will be applied to other sectors identified by the Subcommittee, including retail and labour/construction.
Workforce Entry subcommittee members include the District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (Ontario Works), City of Sault Ste. Marie (FutureSSM), Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Sault Community Career Centre, Sault College Employment Solutions, Algoma Workforce Investment Corporation, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board, United Way of Sault Ste. Marie & Algoma District, Economic Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie, John Howard Society and Sault College.