Mohawk College will be using a $600,000 provincial grant to connect at-risk youth with in-demand jobs in the skilled trades.
The college will offer employer-driven training through its City School initiative, which offers tuition-free college courses and workshops taught by Mohawk faculty.
College president Ron McKerlie notes that City School brings Mohawk into “priority neighbourhoods” by offering training at the Eva Rothwell Centre, Hamilton’s Central Public Library and from a mobile classroom.
McKerlie describes it as a “pathway” for at-risk Hamiltonians who are looking at “building new skills and gaining confidence to pursue a post-secondary education.”
Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger notes that the city has worked with employers to identify “skill shortages” in a variety of trades, including plumbers, electricians, carpenters and machinists.
Eisenberger adds that they are “great jobs” that “pay more than other traditional jobs, certainly a lot more than retail.”
The initiative comes out of the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force on Workforce Development.
It was created in 2015, with a goal of ensuring that residents are getting the skills they need today to fill the jobs of tomorrow.