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Youth Strategy for Hamilton Attraction, Retention, Engagement and Development

January 2012

Youth Strategy for Hamilton Attraction, Retention, Engagement and Development Report developed by: Ryan Moran, Edited by: Sarah Wayland

Acknowledgments Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) recognizes and thanks those individuals and organizations that assisted with, and continue to work on this project. Special thanks to Liz Weaver, Tamarack: An Institute for Community Engagement; Norm Schleehahn, City of Hamilton, Economic and Development Department; the project’s key informants (listed on page 30) and the members of the Youth Employment Network (YEN). WPH thanks the Hamilton Public Library, Central Branch, and Sheila Corbett, HPL Barton Branch, Job Discovery Centre for supporting this project. WPH gratefully acknowledges the participation of the members of the Youth Strategy for Hamilton: Attraction, Retention, Engagement, and Development Steering Committee, who have committed to working on this strategy for the next six months. The members include: Michelle Ball, Mohawk College Mike Des Jardins, Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Rose Gilles, Mohawk College Kristin Huigenbos, Small Business Enterprise Centre Cyndi Ingle, YEN Lloyd MacKenzie, Community Centre for Media Arts Mike Marini, City of Hamilton/HIVE Ryan Moran, HIVE Gisela Oliveira, McMaster University Alex Ramirez, Hamilton Youth Engagement Initiative Norm Schleehahn, City of Hamilton This document may be freely quoted and reproduced without obtaining the permission of Workforce Planning Hamilton provided that no changes whatsoever are made to the text and Workforce Planning Hamilton is acknowledged as author. The information presented in this report is current at the time of printing. The views expressed in this document do not necessarily reflect those of the Government of Canada or the Government of Ontario.


Table of Contents Executive Summary ...........................................................................................................................................1 Section 1.0 – Introduction and Objectives.................................................................................................2 Section 2.0 – Objectives of a Youth Strategy.............................................................................................4 2.1 – Attraction..........................................................................................................................................4 2.2 – Retention..........................................................................................................................................4 2.3 – Engagement ...................................................................................................................................4 2.4 - Development...................................................................................................................................4 Section 3.0 – Local Environmental Scan: ...................................................................................................5 3.1 – Research Papers and Reports...................................................................................................5 3.1.1 – Findings from Local Research................................................................................................5 3.1.2 – Knowledge Gaps in Local Research.....................................................................................7 3.2 – Stakeholder Groups and Programs.........................................................................................8 3.2.1 – Hamilton Strengths...................................................................................................................9 3.2.2 – Hamilton Weaknesses............................................................................................................ 10 Section 4.0 – Environmental Scan of Existing Youth Strategy Initiatives External to Hamilton........................................................................................ 11 4.1 – Provincial........................................................................................................................................ 11 4.2 – Regional......................................................................................................................................... 12 Section 5.0 – Key Issues and Identified Problems................................................................................. 14 5.1 – General........................................................................................................................................... 14 5.2 – Specific Objectives..................................................................................................................... 14 Section 6.0 – Youth Strategy Planning...................................................................................................... 16 6.1 – Community Engagement Sessions...................................................................................... 16 6.2 – Theory of Change for Youth in Hamilton............................................................................ 17 6.3 – Youth Strategy – Next Steps.................................................................................................... 18 Appendix 1 – Profiles of Research and Reports .................................................................................... 19 Appendix 2 – Profiles of Stakeholder Groups and Programs .......................................................... 21 Appendix 3 – Key Informants....................................................................................................................... 30 Appendix 4 – Community Engagement Participants......................................................................... 31 Appendix 5 – Local Organizations – Six Month Plan........................................................................... 32


Executive Summary As Canada braces for large-scale shifts in its workforce demographics, its cities must prepare themselves to be places of opportunity and prosperity in order to attract the most skilled talent to fill the best jobs. In looking at creating such a base of skilled, talented citizens, cities must take into account how the differences in age, culture, ethnicity, and education affect their workforce development strategies. The goal of this report is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive Youth Strategy in Hamilton, a strategy that will contribute to the development and expansion of the city’s skilled workforce and prepare us for future challenges. This report identifies four objectives of a made-in-Hamilton youth strategy: attraction, retention, engagement, and development. Through use of a local environmental scan of written and organizational resources, the report identifies strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in knowledge around these four objectives. It also names stakeholders and community partners that should be involved in the development and delivery of such a strategy. An environmental scan of youth strategy resources outside Hamilton is also included. Following this, the report identifies key issues that Hamilton faces and identifies opportunities in place to move forward.

Key Issues The overall key issues that Hamilton faces in regards to the development of a comprehensive Youth Strategy are identified as: Objective Overall





Key Issue •

Absence of strategic vision towards youth

Absence of coordinated efforts working towards a specific vision

Absence of coordinated marketing strategy working towards youth attraction

Absence of specific demographic information integral to driving such a strategy

Perception that Hamilton offers little in quality employment and careers

Transplant students do not develop a positive relationship with the city while here

Absence of effective communication of engagement opportunities and reasons why/incentives to be engaged

Absence of career assistance for skilled youth

Absence of a broad developmental vision, a continuum guiding youth from at-risk to young professional

Opportunities and next steps The findings of this research point to several opportunities that could contribute to the creation of a strategy, including convening strategic planning sessions, forming Youth Strategy project working groups and a reporting structure, and creating a project website.


Section 1.0

Introduction and Objectives Hamilton is uniquely positioned in Canada, situated at the heart of the country’s most industrialized corridor, and a gateway city for all those who travel between the United States and the Greater Toronto Area. This city is on the cusp of rebirth, with exciting new industries, a burgeoning arts and culture scene, liveable urban neighbourhoods, beautiful natural splendour, and a social and physical infrastructure that is friendly to entrepreneurs and enterprises of all sizes. Hamilton is poised to offer opportunity and prosperity over the next generation; it just requires the will and vision to do so. Looking forward, the contributions of Hamilton’s present and future youth will play a crucial role in the city’s growth, vibrancy, and prosperity. Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) commissioned this paper with this future in mind. The goal of this report is to lay the foundation for a comprehensive youth strategy in Hamilton, a strategy that will contribute to the development and expansion of the city’s skilled workforce and prepare us for future challenges. More specifically, the objectives of this report are to pull together existing resources, assess work done to date on youth issues, identify key stakeholder groups and programs in Hamilton, and provide direction to a local strategy to attract, retain, engage, and develop youth in this city.

The Demographic Imperative The coming decade will see significant changes in Canada’s workforce. Primarily due to its aging population, it is projected that by the year 2020 Canada will see a workforce shortage of one million people.1 As a result, organizations, cities and, indeed, geographic regions, will strive to attract, retain, and mobilize top talent for the sake of their economic benefits. In Hamilton’s case, a 1% increase in its talented population could result in an increase of $3.8 million in additional income.2 The potential is there, but current trends that see an increasing percentage of local university graduates exiting the area must be reversed. In 1997, 70% of McMaster University’s alumni population resided in the Golden Horseshoe region. By 2011, only 47% of alumni remained in the area. In view of the existing out-migration of youth, the development of a youth strategy now will help Hamilton, and its economy, better prepare for the years to come. As Canada braces for large-scale shifts in its workforce demographics, its cities must prepare themselves to be places of opportunity and prosperity in order to attract the most skilled talent to fill the best jobs. In looking at creating such a base of skilled, talented citizens, cities must take into account how the differences in age, culture, ethnicity, and education affect their workforce development strategies.

About This Report This report is structured as follows. It begins by describing the diversity of youth in Hamilton and identifying various categories of youth, followed by a description of four objectives of a youth strategy: attraction, retention, engagement, and development. Next, it contains an environmental scan of relevant local resources, including documents and research reports and organizations. These are analyzed in relation to the four strategic objectives, including current local strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in knowledge. The local scan is followed by an environmental scan of strategies outside Hamilton, such as the Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador, with brief descriptions of resources and potential implications for future work in Hamilton. Following this, Section 5 of the report identifies key issues that Hamilton faces and identifies opportunities in place to move forward. The final section identifies several suggested next steps. In addition to the scan of research and organizations, findings are based on interviews with key informants and on the content of a focus group of service providers hosted by the Youth Employment Network. This report is viewed as an organic document, providing a snapshot assessment of research and liaised groups as they exist to date, and laying the foundation for a youth strategy. It is expected that new materials, resources, and initiatives will be added to this foundation in the coming months and years. It is intended to serve as the basis for continuous learning and development.

1 Kurtis Kitagawa, Out of the Classroom and Into the Workforce: Mining Youth Potential (Toronto: Conference Board of Canada, 2002). ( 2 Next Generation Consulting, Destination Hamilton: Values and Perceptions of Next Generation Talent (Hamilton, 2010), 7.


Terms and Definitions Numerous terms are used in research, reports and discussions on youth strategies to identify specific groups and sub-groups of youth. The definitions below indicate how these terms will be used in this report. “Youth” is a meta-term, taking into account all groups and sub-groups of youth described and discussed within this document. The definition of youth is based on age, though exactly what ages it includes varies widely, falling somewhere between the ages of 15 and 40.3 Within “youth,” there are many categories. In terms of how they came to live in a certain community, homegrown youth were born and raised in a community, transplant youth come from outside the community, and boomerang youth grew up in a community, left to pursue an education or career elsewhere, and have returned with the intention to plant roots. These categories intersect with more identity-based sub-categories that describe the great diversity of youth in Canada: At-Risk Youth – Youth, typically below the age of 18, facing complex issues related to violence, sex, substance abuse, poor academic performance, or more inherent societal issues that have the potential to interfere with their development into healthy adulthood. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Immigrant Youth – Youth born outside of Canada. Transplant. Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning Youth (GLBTQ) – Sexual orientation and gender identity are important identifying factors for youth, and they may identify with a diversity of sexuality and identity-based cultures. Youth may encounter prejudices and victimization associated with their gender identity and/or sexual preferences. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Refugee Youth – Youth for whom Canada is not their country or culture of origin, and have come here specifically to escape hardship in their homeland. Transplant. Skilled Youth – Youth who have recently completed a form of post-secondary education or training, and are in the processing of identifying next steps, whether employment, career development, or further education. Typically defined by early to mid20s age range, but could be higher depending on previous experiences, education, training, or life decisions. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Street Involved/Homeless Youth – Youth, particularly in their late teens, who spend much of their time without housing or are precariously housed and finding their identity and support system within street-involved youth related services. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Youth with Disabilities – More than 10% of Canadians have a disability. For young people, the most common disabilities include limited activity resulting from pain, learning disabilities, and mobility problems. Disabled youth are less likely to complete high school. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Aboriginal Youth – In general, young Aboriginals have fewer educational credentials than other youth, they face more disadvantages in the labour force, and they are over-represented in the criminal justice system. Aboriginals are a young population in Canada, half of them under the age of 25. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Students – Those youth enrolled full-time in a form of post-secondary education or training. “Students” will generally be in reference to those enrolled in post-secondary studies, but also may be specified as secondary or high school students. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang. Young Professionals – Youth who are initiating or engaged in career development. Homegrown, transplant, boomerang.

3 The Government of Canada’s youth-oriented programs target persons from 15 to 30 years of age. Next Generation Consulting’s NextCities and NextCompanies criteria refers to youth as persons between the ages of 20 and 40 years. (See next-cities/.) Other studies define youth not by age but by stage of life, ranging between school aged to “young adults,” or career and family initiators. (See Creating a Province of Choice, the Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador, Youth-Retention-and-Attraction-Strategy.pdf.)


Section 2.0

Objectives of a Youth Strategy Any youth strategy for Hamilton must be constructed on a framework that articulates realistic objectives for youth. Based on the objectives of youth strategies in other areas, a review of local literature, and discussions and interviews that formed part of the research for this report, it is suggested that a Hamilton strategy be constructed around four objectives: attraction, retention, engagement, and development. As they are described in this section, each objective is distinct and will require its own set of actions to realize. At the same time, most on-the-ground realities in Hamilton impact more than one objective. For example, many of the same factors that might attract youth to Hamilton may be the same as those that would encourage youth already in Hamilton to remain here. Likewise, improving youth engagement and opportunities for development will probably increase youth retention. In sum, the objectives are distinct, but individual strategic actions may at once influence multiple objectives.

2.1 – Attraction Attraction means bringing new youth to Hamilton as well as enticing former residents to return. Wherever they live, how do youth conceive of Hamilton? What images come to mind? Does Hamilton seem like a desirable place to live – are there employment opportunities, things to do, and interesting people living there? It cannot be assumed that efforts to change Hamilton’s image broadly will have the same desired impact upon all people. Those working towards youth attraction related goals must collaborate to specifically communicate all the nuances that appeal to youth as a specific sub-group (as well as the sub-groups inherent under “youth”). As such, this objective entails refining a message that will resonate with youth, including well-considered targeting, careful selection of channels, and effective execution of the communication necessary to attract youth, whether students, young professionals and entrepreneurs. Such messages may focus on quality education, career opportunity and growth, quality of life and culture, and access to regional services.

2.2 – Retention Retention focuses on keeping Hamilton’s youth here. Employment opportunities and career growth potential in Hamilton are key to achieving this objective. As with attraction, factors important to retention for all youth include access to quality education, quality of life and culture, and access to regional services. Retention, however, is of particular concern in the professional sphere: skilled talent coming out of post secondary education or training, and those who look to enter the workforce directly, tend to be immediately concerned with what opportunities or experiences exist in a community that will advance their professional identity.

2.3 – Engagement Engagement concerns the extent to which young people can be involved in civic and democratic processes, shaping public policy, and building communities. This objective complements attraction and retention in that opportunities for substantial engagement may attract youth to come to Hamilton in the first place. Developing an attachment to a community through engagement may also be a reason why youth stay. Lastly, playing a role in the shaping of public policy may open up further development opportunities for youth. The empowerment of citizenry through various levels of engagement is an essential pillar of any youth strategy.

2.4 – Development Development concerns the extent to which individual youth can advance themselves and their quality of life within the community of Hamilton. The directions or initiatives that may exist under the banner of development greatly depend upon the circumstance of individual youth. For “at risk” or street-involved youth, development may entail access to, and participation in, programs that enhance their education and skills and improve employment opportunities. For skilled youth emerging from the post-secondary realm, development may pertain, somewhat similarly to access to employment experience opportunities, such as internships and access to mentors and coaches. For young professionals, development may pertain to networking and mentorship opportunities, and professional development workshops and skill enhancement sessions. In each of these cases, the opportunities for development should exist on a continuum: development is not about reaching a certain level, but, rather, it is about establishing linkages between services and programs that grant individuals the opportunity of continuous advancement.


Section 3.0

Local Environmental Scan 3.1 – Research Papers and Reports

• Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton (Ec. Dev., 2009) • Destination Hamilton (HCC, 2010) • Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth in Hamilton (SPRC, 2011) • The 8095 Exchange (Edelmen, Strategy One, 2011)


• Connecting the Dots (WPH, 2007) • Dreams and Expectation (WPH, 2009) • Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton (Ec. Dev., 2009) • Quality of Life in Hamilton Whitepaper (JPC, 2009) • Destination Hamilton (HCC, 2010) • Student Perceptions of Hamilton (MSU, 2011) • Moving Forward: Employment Programs for Youth at Risk in the City of Hamilton (WPH, 2009)


• Connecting the Dots (WPH, 2007) • Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton (Ec. Dev., 2009) • Quality of Life in Hamilton Whitepaper (JPC, 2009) • Destination Hamilton (HCC, 2010 • Student Perceptions of Hamilton (MSU, 2011)



Figure 1. List of Research Papers and Reports

• Connecting the Dots (WPH, 2007) • Breaking Barriers (OUSA, 2011) • Evaluation of the ‘Addressing the Needs of StreetInvolved and Homeless Youth in Hamilton’ Project (SPRC, 2009) • Destination Hamilton (HCC, 2010) • Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth in Hamilton (SPRC, 2011) • Moving Forward: Employment Programs for Youth at Risk in the City of Hamilton (WPH, 2009)

Existing literature, research, and projects could all inform the creation of a youth strategy in Hamilton. While not comprehensive, the above list of sources contains key local documents and thus forms a strong starting point. This section is informed by the findings of these research documents. (For more information on each of the resources in the list above, see Appendix 1.)

3.1.1 – Findings from Local Research Attraction Existing reports offer much insight into how Hamilton might currently attract youth (cost of living, natural amenities, education opportunities) and where Hamilton can improve to make itself more attractive. For example: •

Young Professional/Skilled Youth Perspectives Particularly through the Destination Hamilton and Student Perceptions reports, there exists a fair working knowledge of how skilled youth and young professionals, in other words,


knowledge workers and career initiators, view Hamilton. Generally, this opinion is one of moderate appreciation. An overall respect is maintained for the city and what it offers, but much more positivity is expressed around what the city could be, rather then what it currently is. In the words of one report, “Overall, current residents (non-students) are committed to Hamilton, but are not ambassadors of the city.” 4 •

Broad Audiences The JPC’s Quality of Life paper, though concerned with the quality of life of current citizens, also speaks much to the image of Hamilton and how those outside of its boundaries view its living circumstances.

Retention Very similar to attraction, retention provides much in the way of insight into why youth, specifically skilled youth, young professionals and secondary school aged youth, would stay in Hamilton and/or what would help retain their cohort. Much of the information concerning attraction and retention is overlapping. The information here also provides insight into why certain youth cohorts may leave the city following entry into the workforce, secondary and post-secondary studies. Primarily, this information is concerned with: •

Jobs There is a perceived lack of opportunities for professionals in the city. This is particularly present in the perceived lack of quality, career related jobs, those that provide the individual with stimulation and growth potential, as well as a sufficient income (which ranks highest in employment expectations in the Dreams and Expectations report).5 This perception is shared and extended to the relative entrepreneurial “friendliness” of the city in the Destination Hamilton report.6

Health and Vitality There are also concerns regarding the overall health or perceived health of the city and its citizens, ranging from pollution to obesity levels. These are detailed in the Destination Hamilton report.

Engagement This research primarily concerns causes and barriers faced by certain youth cohorts, preventing their engagement in Hamilton and its communities, such as: •

Skilled Youth For youth coming to Hamilton to pursue post-secondary education there is a significant sense of detachment between their institution and/or its surrounding community, and the city. To a very real extent, while pursuing their studies, many students feel ostracized or unwanted within the city.7 As a result, no ties are developed, and when the student emerges as skilled youth, at best, they may well have no reason to remain in the city while, at worst, they may resent it.8

At-Risk Youth For at-risk youth, the barriers are more significant in that they are potential obstacles in the youth’s development into healthy adulthood. Such barriers identified as critical issues for many youth in Hamilton include poverty, early school leaving, homelessness, discrimination, mental health issues, substance use, and disconnection from family, community and services.9

Development Findings about engagement carry over into this area, including the barriers faced by at-risk youth above. These are more extensively detailed in the Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth report. However, related to this, is information concerning barriers that youth may also face in accessing post-secondary education, as outlined in the Breaking Barriers report, published by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). This report is included in the list above for the reason that it details the barriers, and potential solutions for overcoming these barriers, to post-secondary education faced by youth in Ontario municipalities. In addition to directly offering statistics on Hamilton, with a number of post-secondary institutions within Hamilton’s boundaries, the implications of this report are crucial to Hamilton’s development of skilled youth. 4 Next Generation Consulting, Destination Hamilton, 6. 5 Huzaifa Saeed, Your City (Hamilton: McMaster Students Union, 2011), 6. 6 Next Generation Consulting, Destination Hamilton, 8. 7 Ryan Moran, Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton. (Hamilton: City of Hamilton Economic Development, 2010), 10. Also expressed in interviews with post-secondary student representatives in both summer 2009 and summer 2011. 8 Scott Courtice, Attracting and Retaining Talent in the Coming Era of Skilled-Labour Scarcity: the Linkage to ‘Town and Gown’ Relations (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, April 2008). 9 Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton, Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth in Hamilton (Hamilton: SPRC, January 2011).


Underrepresented Post-Secondary Youth Like the Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth in Hamilton report, the Breaking Barriers report identifies more deep-seated circumstances that play roles in a youth’s development. As a result of obstacles inherent in these circumstances, youth may encounter difficulties in accessing the various forms of postsecondary training. This affects many categories of youth, including low-income, first generation students, Aboriginal students, northern or rural students, students with dependants, and gender and race factors. The barriers inherent in these circumstances largely tend to be financial, informational, or motivationally based, and, as the document outlines, can be overcome.

3.1.2 Knowledge Gaps in Local Research Local research papers and reports contain valuable information, yet there are gaps in our knowledge of youth in Hamilton as they pertain to the four objectives. In this section, some of those gaps are described. As stakeholders begin to look towards the compilation of a strategy, other relevant information may be discovered. Attraction There is a significant deficiency in specific, targeted market research on what makes Hamilton less attractive than other potential destinations. Although much of this can be inferred, having such data available would provide good justification for specific strategic directions. Additionally, specific information that breaks down the viewpoints of youth by demographic and identity categories would be very valuable. For example, although the Destination Hamilton report speaks to the general perspectives of young professionals and skilled youth, these categories could be further broken down to better understand, for example, the perspectives of boomerangs, homegrowns, transplants, or, even further, the perspectives of immigrant youths, LGBTQ youths, and youths of other diverse cultures and backgrounds. Retention Much of the deficiency in attraction related information, described above, can also be applied to retention related information. Of importance to this objective would be to know how many youth leave Hamilton, why, and comparisons with other cities. Firstly, more specific numbers on the number of youth departing from Hamilton is needed so that intensive monitoring of the Hamilton, net-out-migration phenomena can be conducted. Secondly, more information on why youth leave Hamilton is needed, including where they are going, and why other locations are preferred. Lastly, any similar information on both, cities similar to Hamilton, and the destinations that are chosen over Hamilton, can provide key points of comparison for the development of youth strategy related metrics. Engagement The Breaking Barriers report included recommendations for alleviating the challenges faced by at-risk youth in relation to access to post-secondary education. Yet there are no similar reports or information on engaging students and skilled youth in a community. The goal of such information would be to find reference points on how transplant students, in particular, can effectively be engaged by a community so that they develop a lasting relationship with it, to the extent that “planting roots” in the community is a potential, long-term, life option. People make life decisions based on a variety of factors, the most important of which often pertain to employment. Nonetheless, positive interaction with a community may persuade a student or skilled youth to try to remain in that community, particularly if there is a sense that local trends and issues are moving in a positive direction. Even if engaged individuals end up leaving the area, the experience of community engagement may compel them to become positive, word-of-mouth ambassadors of Hamilton in other communities. This, in turn, contributes to attraction objectives. Development In terms of development, we know little about the specific challenges faced by students, skilled youth and young professionals in career initiation and development, nor do we have a good understanding of the specific strategies and initiatives that might overcome these barriers. Similarly, we also lack information on techniques and approaches for continuous development for at-risk youth and streetinvolved youth. Currently much of the literature available speaks to overcoming the immediate and significant challenges these youth may face, and it ends with the realization of education and employment. Information on continuous support and advancement beyond this, and through the sort of challenges faced by those cohorts previously discussed, would aid in the introduction of a continuum of youth development, not unlike the “service system continuum” featured in the Evaluation of the Addressing the Needs of Street Involved and Homeless Youth report.

8 3.2 – Stakeholder Groups and Programs

• Hamilton Economic Development

• Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

• Hamilton Hive • Jobs Prosperity Collaborative • Post-Secondary Institutions • Various Employers and Employment Opportunities

• Hamilton Economic Development • Youth Employment Network • Jobs Prosperity Collaborative • McMaster Office of Community Service Learning and CivicEngagement (And Post-Secondary offices of similar intent) • Industry Education Council • McMaster University Career Services

• Hamilton Chamber of Commerce • Hamilton Youth Advisory Committee • Hamilton Hive • Hamilton Community Foundation - Youth Advisory Council • Post-Secondary Student Representative Bodies (MSU, MSA, RSA) • Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton • Jobs Prosperity Collaborative • McMaster Office of Community Service Learning and Civic Engagement (And PSE offices of similar intent) • Mohawk Access Project and Student Services • Post-Secondary Alumni Associations


• Workforce Planning Hamilton


• Hamilton Chamber of Commerce



Figure 2. Summary of Stakeholder Groups and Programs

• Workforce Planning Hamilton • Youth Employment Network • Hamilton Hive • Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton • Jobs Prosperity Collaborative • Mohawk Access Project • Post-Secondary Alumni Associations • Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction • Industry Education Council • Hamilton Area Catholic and Public School Boards • McMaster University Career Services • Youth Employment Network

• Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction • Industry Education Council • Hamilton Area Catholic and Public School Boards

A second component of the local environmental scan focuses on groups and programs. Hamilton is fortunate to have a number of community stakeholders, partners, groups and organizations working to make the city a more ideal destination for youth. The following strengths and weaknesses of these groups are identified below. For more information on the groups themselves see Appendix 2.


3.2.1 – Hamilton Strengths Attraction Hamilton currently has a number of groups, organizations and institutions working to attract youth to the community, both directly and indirectly. •

Direct Attraction Hamilton does have organizations working to actively promote the city, including municipal government (such as the Economic Development Division), business organizations (e.g., the Chamber of Commerce), and civic organizations that include active promotion as part of their mandate – for example, the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative (JPC) and the Hamilton Hive. The citizen-driven groups tend to target specific populations such as young professionals in the case of Hamilton Hive.

Indirect Attraction Within Hamilton, specific organizations and institutions will also attract a number of youth cohorts to the city as a result of efforts to satisfy their own purposes. Post-Secondary institutions such as McMaster University, Mohawk College and Redeemer University College annually attract tens of thousands of youth to the community to pursue their studies. Employers also attract youth to the community for employment opportunities. Reflected in the interviews with such indirect attraction stakeholder groups, it is felt that there is not enough done in regards to attraction from those directly tied to the city from a youth perspective. In the case of the post-secondary institutions, often they are viewed relatively favourably by prospective students; however, the city may factor negatively into student decisions regarding where to pursue educational opportunities.10

Retention Concerning retention, efforts mostly focus on job creation and linking youth to employment opportunities in the community, and through efforts to engage youth in Hamilton’s community and culture. •

Employment As recognized in the previous section, employment is among the primary reasons behind why youth do, or do not, stay in Hamilton. To this end, there are a number of groups and divisions working in the labour market realm, such as the Workforce Planning Hamilton, Hamilton Economic Development, and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. There are also a number of groups and initiatives working to connect youth to employment opportunities and experience, such as the Industry Education Council, and the Youth Employment Network (YEN) and the various organizations working within its framework.

In stakeholder interviews it has also been recognized that Hamilton does maintain a relatively low youth unemployment rate. However, based on interviews with stakeholder youth groups, student representatives, the YEN focus group and previously collected data, it is widely felt that Hamilton does not offer a significant or diverse quantity of job opportunities, particularly career path development positions, or jobs related to specific industries/area of interest. This observation was borne out in a scan of McMaster University’s Job Posting and Grad Recruitment website (OSCARplus) in September 2011. Of the 52 opportunities posted by companies looking to recruit McMaster graduates, only three were explicitly in Hamilton and an additional four firms did have Hamilton offices. •

Culture and Community Organizations make efforts to retain youth through promotion of Hamilton’s diverse offerings, and through the opportunity to be directly engaged in community events and initiatives. Official civic promotions seek to communicate that Hamilton is the ideal community in which to start and raise a family, due to a comfortable cost of living and affordable investment opportunities. Beyond this, groups such as the JPC take a holistic approach to communicate all that the city has to offer, from a vibrant culture to an idyllic quality of life. Conversely, groups such as the McMaster Office of Community Service Learning and Civic Engagement, although also promoting Hamilton’s offerings, seeks to engage students in the community, and communicate precisely what they can offer to Hamilton.

In the course of conducting interviews with stakeholder post-secondary institution representatives, we heard that retention of youth upon completion of their education should not be thought of as the responsibility of educational institutions. Although having a local alumni network is beneficial, and despite funding programs, offices and initiatives that may work in this effort, postsecondary institutions are focused on their own international reputations as opposed to those of Hamilton per se. Educational institutions attract youth, but, aside from ensuring the availability of career paths locally, retention is not their focus. 10 Ryan Moran, Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton (Hamilton: Hamilton Economic Development, 2010), 8, in reference to results reflected in the University Applicant Survey (2005) and the Canadian University Survey Consortium (2007). Also reflected in post-secondary stakeholder interviews in summer 2009 and summer 2011.


Engagement The opportunity for youth engagement in Hamilton is arguably the city’s greatest advantage. There are myriad groups and organizations in Hamilton, from young professional groups and community service volunteer opportunities to involvement in political and special interest groups. All of these tend to be extremely approachable, ready, and willing to expand the number of youth involved. The opportunity for community engagement for youth in Hamilton is very much “on the ground floor.” Development There are many groups and organizations devoted to the development of youth in Hamilton, whether it is in direct skills training, education access assistance, or employment search and experience assistance. Great strength lies in the provision of services and programs for at-risk, street-involved, and underrepresented post-secondary youth.

3.2.2 – Hamilton Weaknesses Attraction Hamilton has a number of groups that work towards the attraction of various groups, businesses and organizations to the city, as well as groups that, on a very broad level, work towards attracting people. There is however, no group, and as a result, no direct strategy and/or campaign, that has been directly designed and executed to attract youth and specific youth cohorts to the city. Retention Related to attraction, there is no single group or coordinated effort working to retain youth in Hamilton. Current retention efforts are largely concerned with the linking of youth to employment in the city, as well as engagement possibilities in the city’s communities (with the goal of the youth then developing relationships with the community). As a result, retention does not function as a goal in itself, but rather a by product of the direct goals that these groups work toward. This is not to say that retention, specifically of youth cohorts, is not a concern of these groups. It is just not currently at the heart of any existent projects, programs or broadly defined strategies. Engagement Despite the numerous opportunities for engagement available to youth in Hamilton, youth often lack the knowledge of how to get involved with these groups and initiatives. Also, interest, reasons, or motivation for youth to get involved may need to be generated. Moreover, between the groups there does exist a certain lack of coordination and collaboration. Some partnerships and collaborative efforts do exist, but stakeholder interviews indicated that much benefit could come from greater and more regular information sharing and joint efforts. Without this, there may be redundancies in engagement opportunities and services within the city. This in turn could harm the end performance of these groups and the services they deliver. In general, it could result in unrealized potential of the accomplishments that could be had with greater inter-organizational cooperation. Development Groups focusing on this objective cover the scope of youth identities and support issues related to lifestyle, education, training and employment. As with the other objectives, groups focused on development could benefit from greater coordination. This is especially true in that development should be seen as a continuum, ranging from support services for at-risk youth to networking opportunities for young professionals. During a focus group conducted with the Youth Employment Network (YEN), an absence of groups and programs working towards the development of skilled youth was noted, particularly in assisting their career initiation process. Trends show that growing numbers of young people are emerging from post-secondary education and training only to find that, despite their education, they are not in possession of the relevant practical skills and work experience that employers are looking for. To this end, existent young professional groups can offer networking opportunities. Beyond that, there is a lack of developmental internship and mentorship opportunities available for these skilled youth.


Section 4.0

Environmental Scan of Existing Youth Strategy Initiatives External to Hamilton The local environmental scan was supplemented by a scan of youth strategy initiatives in other jurisdictions, including other provinces and regions of Canada. This section contains details of some initiatives that could inform work in Hamilton. After each entry, suggestions are presented as to how the initiatives could inform work in Hamilton.

4.1 – Provincial Youth Retention and Attraction Strategy for Newfoundland and Labrador Initiated in June 2008 by then Premier Danny Williams, this provincial strategy is the most comprehensive, effective and far-reaching youth strategy developed in Canada. Both the strategy itself, and the process that saw its development, should serve as an ideal model for regions looking to do the same, whether municipally, provincially, or regionally. The process of developing the strategy included: • • •

contracting Canadian Public Research Networks (CPRN) to conduct initial research compilation and make policy recommendations deliberative dialogue sessions held both provincially and nationally on youth perspectives of Newfoundland and Labrador a two-day Provincial Youth Summit

The strategy itself is driven by eight, distinct policy directions: 1. Youth Engagement 2. Positioning and Promoting Newfoundland and Labrador 3. Education 4. Employment and Job Creation 5. Quality of Life and Access to Regional Services 6. Diversity and Culture 7. Labrador 8. Incentives to Stay or Return Implications for Hamilton – Overall, the process undertaken, and resulting strategy developed by the province of Newfoundland and Labrador should be studied as a template for any region looking to develop a comprehensive youth strategy. However, Hamilton already has in place some of the research and stakeholder groups and may be able to start farther along the path than did Newfoundland and Labrador.

Saskatchewan Youth Strategies The province of Saskatchewan currently employs a number of initiatives designed to attract and retain youth within its boundaries. Unlike Newfoundland and Labrador, these initiatives are not all-encompassing strategies, but rather initiatives designed to empower youths in specific economic development areas within the broader provincial landscape. They include: •

Saskatchewan- Ministry of Agriculture - Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) – -- Initiated in 2009, this committee seeks to attract, retain and empower youth in Saskatchewan’s agriculture industry. Key recommendations that have emerged from work conducted by this group include: • • • •

Awareness and Promotion Information and Training Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation (SCIC) Saskatchewan Young Ag-Entrepreneurs (SYA) (development of support programs for those that qualify as a SYA)


• • •

Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) (establishing greater knowledge of the industry and its opportunities at earlier ages) Ministry of Agriculture Regional Offices

Enterprise Saskatchewan – Strategic Issues Councils - Youth Economic Engagement Council - This council was established in 2009 as a specific strategic issues council within the province’s economic development agency. Youth retention and attraction is identified as a key issue for the province of Saskatchewan’s future economic development, as such, this group works to provide recommendations and guidance to foster the attraction and retention of youth, as well as encourage their engagement as leaders within the province.

Implications for Hamilton – In the development of a comprehensive youth strategy, specialized initiatives designed to target specific youth cohorts and young professionals of a specific industry will need to be explored. With considerable agricultural industries in and around the Greater Hamilton Area, Saskatchewan’s model is one that should be taken into consideration. Furthermore, the Youth Economic Engagement Council provides a great example going forward of how to engage youth in top-down, regional, economic policy decision-making. Barring the creation of such a council in the Hamilton landscape, there are a number of groups that could act in such a capacity in lieu of one.

4.2 – Regional FedNor - Youth Retention Programs for Northern Canada FedNor is a regional development organization of the Government of Canada based in Northern Ontario. Since 2005, youth retention has been identified as one of FedNor’s key issues. To this end, resources have been put towards a strategy aimed at helping youth gain skills and work experience in the region and to remain there. The strategy is built around three components: • • •

Strengthening the FedNor Youth Internship Program ( Funding for strategic post-secondary initiatives (education and skills training) Building community capacity. In essence, this entails working with First Nations communities and community economic development organizations to create greater awareness of opportunities for development and employment among youth. An example of this component in action can be found in the FedNor sponsored Chukuni Communities Development Corporation (CCDC) report entitled Youth Retention and Attraction Survey Results ( documents/youth-retention-report.pdf ). It contains findings of a study on youth perspectives of the area surrounding Red Lake in Northern Ontario and is associated with the broader CCDC Youth Retention Strategy. (http://www.chukuni. com/article/youth-retention-strategy-739.asp).

Implications for Hamilton – The FedNor strategy holds potential considerations for both the retention of skilled youth in Hamilton, in the capacity that it seeks to connect youth in the community to job opportunities, work experience, and entrepreneurial support. As well, FedNor also illustrates positive examples of development initiatives, in assisting at-risk youth overcome barriers to post-secondary education and training, and eventually employment.

Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association (CREDA) Youth Strategy The CREDA Youth Retention and Attraction Project serves to reverse similar aging population and youth migration demographic trends in the Cumberland County region of Nova Scotia ( The project is overseen by a full-time Youth Retention and Attraction coordinator and is focused on three key elements: youth retention, youth attraction, and repatriation of those under 30. In working to fulfill these objectives, the project has identified a number of projects to support the strategy, including (quoted directly from document): • •

Implementing a youth database to analyze and use for different aspects of the project. Developing a steering committee to generate ideas and input. This will also provide a voice from regions of Cumberland County to represent issues of youth retention and attraction. The steering committee will have representatives on it which represent the different sectors of the region including respectively: health, school, community colleges, CREDA, youth, businesses etc. Student Appreciation Project. This is designed with students home for the summer vacation in mind. These students will eventually be seeking opportunities in the labour market. We want to help them realize the opportunities in Cumberland


• •

County before they graduate which will lead to a relationship between the individuals and their hometown. This will also show them that there are support services available to them when they are ready to job hunt. Make contact with employers of Cumberland County to develop a working relationship with the employers and organizations of this area to better understand what they are looking for from potential employees, and use this to make connections to the youth of the area. Youth Town Council. This pays service to youth in a way that gets them involved and gives a voice to the youth of the area. This will help us interpret the issues youth recognize and work with them to addresses these issues.11

Implications for Hamilton – Much like the Newfoundland strategy, this initiative is a good example for Hamilton to consider in the potential creation of a reporting model and an office ultimately responsible for compilation and delivery of a comprehensive strategy. The Cumberland Strategy also describes several unique initiatives that would be worthy of consideration in Hamilton, including a youth database and a student appreciation project.

Niagara Workforce Planning Board Youth Strategy The Niagara Workforce Planning Board (NWPB) ( is currently working on the development of a comprehensive Youth Retention and Attraction strategy. This initiative is led by the Board’s Next Generation Niagara Advisory Panel, with partners YMCA of Niagara, Business Education Council of Niagara, and the Niagara Region. The initiative is overseen by the Regional Youth Strategy Coordinator, a full-time employee of the NWPB, as well as a project steering committee. To date, strategy work has focused on: •

convening the advisory panel, its steering committee, and sub-committees,

development and administration of the NextNiagara Survey (comparable to various documents listed under section 4.1 of this report),

planning for regional follow-up symposiums with respondents, young professional groups, student trustees, and other stakeholders.

Implications for Hamilton – This project is significant for Hamilton as it provides a good example of a process and model that Hamilton can use or modify.

11 Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association (CREDA), Youth: Youth Attraction and retention Project (CREDA, 2010).


Section 5.0

Key Issues and Identified Problems 5.1 – General The most immediate issue Hamilton faces in regards to youth strategies is the significant lack of coordinated efforts in the pursuit of a comprehensive youth strategy. As has been shown, there are many groups in Hamilton, and large amounts of information available. Yet these groups often operate in silos, with limited communication and collaboration among them, especially among groups that on the surface appear to have disparate missions. This points to a further absence of “bigger picture” thinking, and as such, an absence of strategic vision.

5.2 – Specific Objectives Attraction Within the objective of attraction one of the most pressing issues is the absence of actual coordinated marketing campaigns to re-brand, and essentially improve Hamilton’s image to youth beyond its borders. This is not to say that efforts are not being made, as certain initiatives do exist, but they meet significant obstacles because of at least two central issues. First, they are not necessarily guided by specific, complete, or existing information that helps to identify and define specific youth demographic cohorts, nor are they driven by identified motivations of why a specific cohort would be chosen. Moreover, in their absence of specific information and intent, they also risk selecting inefficient channels by which to attempt to reach these cohorts, as well as thoughtfully crafted messages that may otherwise change the selected audience’s opinion. Second, many of the initiatives that do, or have existed, tend to be focused within Hamilton’s borders, where they frequently “preach to the converted” youth. Certain showings of pride for a city and its people are great for fostering an energized, positive civic perspective but do little for the city from a promotional perspective if not communicated beyond its borders. Retention There are two central issues under the objective of retention, and they are primarily concerned with post-secondary students and skilled youth. The first is that, whether perceived or actual, there is a prevailing opinion that Hamilton is jobs-scarce, particularly quality career-path jobs that allow for personal growth and continued professional development. For skilled youth, recently emerging from one of Hamilton’s post-secondary institutions, particularly those transplanted here from other communities, there appears to be both a lack of jobs in Hamilton, and lack in the diversity of industries that are employing. For those from Hamilton, there is a great sense of frustration in what the city offers, and as such, a sense that “the grass may be greener” elsewhere. For those from Hamilton who pursued post-secondary education or training in another community, the experience and network they have developed may well convince them that their future prosperity will not be found in Hamilton. The second issue primarily concerns post-secondary students in Hamilton, particularly those coming from other communities. Despite all the groups and initiatives working in this regard, there is a significant lack of direct outreach to welcome and engage students while they are here. Issues such as Hamilton’s image and appearance are secondary to this sort of outreach and engagement. Even if a youth were to have a negative opinion of Hamilton, the development of a relationship with a community can overcome such beliefs. Helping a youth feel welcomed and engaged within the community while they are here can go far towards their developing a relationship with, and positive opinion of Hamilton, if not outright retaining them. At the very least, their positive opinion will be communicated word-of-mouth in the communities they return to, helping to adjust prevailing attitudes of Hamilton outside its borders. The best case scenario would be for recent graduates to be extended job offers in Hamilton.


Engagement The primary issue under the engagement principle concerns the communication efforts necessary to make known the vast opportunities for engagement in the Hamilton community. However, as made evident under the issues related to retention, engagement and engaging youth in the community has the capacity to greatly influence the other three principles. As discussed under retention, engaging youth in the city allows for the development of relationships with and within the community. Even among youth from the community, lack of engagement can lead to stunted potential in their growth into healthy and successful adulthood. This may result from their inability to realize their own capabilities, as well as the absence of an established network of support. On the other hand, lack of engagement may also deprive organizations, groups, campaigns, or citizens being served by them (such as at-risk youth), of much needed assistance. The primary issue facing engagement is the absence of effective communication regarding available opportunities, as well as the absence of communication or justified examples on why youth should be engaged. Development The key issue under development is related to skilled youth in the community, and how, in spite of the education or training attained at a given post-secondary institution, many lack the experience and/or network required to find employment and personal prosperity. To this end, mentoring, internships and networking opportunities are seen as potential solutions. Particularly in regards to networking opportunities, there are many groups in the community that provide this. However, many skilled youth lack knowledge of these groups, or knowledge of how to effectively network and build such relationships. A secondary issue is related to the initial over-arching key issue of a lack of a strategic vision. For example, although there are many groups and organizations in the city servicing at-risk and street-involved youth, increased coordination between groups that have seemingly disparate missions can enhance the potential that these youth could realize. For example, following a youth’s transition from being street-involved, to finding employment and potential training, the youth could then look towards involvement in young professionals groups, such as Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals (YEP – Hamilton Chamber of Commerce). This would then allow the youth to continue on a path that continues to see the realization of their potential and worth, through mentoring and network building opportunities. Without a strategic vision and coordinated efforts, such a continuum of youth development may not exist.

Figure 4. Summary of Key Weaknesses Principle

Key Issue


• Absence of strategic vision towards youth • Absence of coordinated efforts working towards a specific vision


• Absence of coordinated marketing strategy working towards youth attraction • Absence of specific demographic information integral to driving such a strategy


• Perception that Hamilton offers little in quality employment and careers • Transplant students do not develop a positive relationship with the city while here


• Absence of effective communication of engagement opportunities and reasons why/incentives to be engaged


• Absence of career assistance for skilled youth • Absence of a broad developmental vision, a continuum guiding youth from at-risk to young professional


Section 6.0

Youth Strategy Planning This section describes several opportunities that were considered by stakeholders who support and work with youth at two community engagement sessions held on October 27, 2011 and November 3, 2011. The goal of these sessions was to develop an action plan that would be implemented over the next six months. This short-term plan will work to build an over-arching vision, future directions, and long-term projects that will see improved attraction, retention, development and engagement of youth in Hamilton.

6.1 –Community Engagement Sessions Over 40 representatives participated at the two half-day facilitated sessions with the majority participating at both sessions. There were both representatives from youth serving organizations and groups as well as youth themselves. Participants included many of the key informants that had been interviewed for the background report. For a full list of participants, see Appendix 4. Participants reviewed the background research presented in this report including a presentation on the youth strategy work already under way in Niagara (see Section 4.2). Small group discussions were documented by group facilitators. This was supported by a theory of change framework. The groups considered the following questions: •

Who are we?

What is the change we would like to see for Hamilton’s Youth? What is our vision?

What would need to change?

What is our theory of change? What are the high-level strategies and drivers that could be levered for this change to happen?

What can we individually (as organizations) and collectively (as a community) achieve over six months that will contribute to advancing the youth attraction, retention, engagement and development in Hamilton?

17 6.2 – Theory of Change for Youth in Hamilton We are… Involved youth (HIVE, student and community leaders, young professionals, entrepreneurs, recent grads and youth in transition); community organizations with a focus on youth; education, employment, library, municipal and provincial government professionals; and members of community collaboratives. Hamilton is… still a “Steel city,” characterized by manufacturing and labour; a stopping point for many youth pursuing post secondary education; a midsize community enabling opportunity to build, act, and do whether physically, socially, in the community, in your career, or in your family; affordable with diversity of communities and geographic regions.

What Change do we want to see? We want a community where youth in Hamilton have … • An opportunity to be part of the solution; to take ownership and pride in Hamilton; to participate in a vibrant city with a revitalized downtown, diverse geographic regions, a thriving arts and culture sector, and a sustainable environment. • A coordinated community system providing a range of opportunities for civic engagement and supports for students, young entrepreneurs, and job seekers, • Access to the information through a central communication mechanism; • Appropriate supports and are positively welcomed by employers and the community.

How will this Happen? High Level Drivers: Attitudinal Shift: Local Focus: Youth: Action:

Change perception of Hamilton – this is a city of opportunities, new branding for Hamilton emphasizing youth attractors. Profile ‘Made in Hamilton’ youth talent. Involve youth voice in the design and delivery. Coordinate actions across organizations and networks.

Priorities for the Next 6 Months – November 2011 – April 2012 Attraction: • Enhance communications by tapping into and augmenting current efforts Retention: • Engage business to create internships /part time/full time job opportunities and entrepreneurial supports • Promoting Hamilton’s unique characteristics Engagement: • Engage the youth voice about attraction, retention, engagement and development • Develop an inventory of services and participation opportunities for youth Development: • Develop a youth continuum pathway identifying the steps along the way, who is currently providing supports and what is needed. Include different profiles of youth by age, segments and Hamilton context. In addition the groups ‘mapped’ their organization or initiatives over the next six months as a way of exploring opportunities for collaboration and partnership. See Appendix 5 for listings of these plans.

18 6.3 – Youth Strategy – Next Steps Based on background information contained in this report on youth initiatives in Hamilton, we know that there is a lot of good work underway and planned to support youth employment and engagement. What the Community Engagement sessions revealed is that there is a distinct lack of awareness and coordination amongst these initiatives and programs. With this reality in mind participants at the community engagement sessions considered what actionable steps might be taken towards creation of a youth strategy in Hamilton using a six month window. In support of this short-term plan ongoing engagement of community initiatives is underway supported by Workforce Planning Hamilton. A Steering Committee has been formed that is derived from the participants at our community engagement sessions that represent youth initiatives and programs in Hamilton. They will continue to work using the theory of change framework and recommendations for next steps. A strategy and action plan focusing on creating greater opportunities for communicating, collaborating and partnering between and amongst youth programs and initiatives will be developed. They will consider how we might lever existing community resources like the HIVE ( – a website for young professionals) and MonkeyBiz ( – a youth-oriented website) to support this goal. A key point identified at the Community Engagement sessions was that this work could not be completed without greater engagement of youth themselves. Additional work will be done to determine how best to engage, support and integrate youth in the community and understand their priorities for action. We have our blueprint for change and Hamilton’s demographics point to the urgency of making the strategy a reality. Next stop is Hamilton as a youth destination to live, work and play.


Appendix 1

Profiles of Research and Reports Connecting the Dots:  Immigrant Employment in Hamilton (Attraction, retention, development) Published by: Hamilton Immigrant Workforce Integration Network (Workforce Planning Hamilton Training) Partners: Hamilton Community Foundation, Employment Ontario Year of Publication: 2007 Purpose: “To identify and document current employment-related services available to newcomers in the city of Hamilton, to map out how these services fit together, to identify any gaps in service, and to make recommendations for improvement.” Breaking Barriers:  A Strategy for Equal Access to Higher Education (Development) Published by:  Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) Partners:  College Student Alliance (CSA), Ontario Student Trustees’ Association (OSTA) Year of Publication:  2011 Purpose:  A document that outlines underrepresented groups in the Ontario post-secondary system, identifies the major barriers faced by these groups in accessing the system, and proposes a holistic, strategic approach to resolve these barriers. Dreams and Expectations:  A Report on Conversations with Hamilton Youth on Work and Careers (Retention) Published by:  Workforce Planning Hamilton Partners: Employment Ontario Year of Publication:  2009 Purpose:  Findings from conversations with youth on employment experiences, preferences, and expectations. Valuable for employers looking to attract and retain young talent and skilled workers, through the creation of youth positive work environment and standards. Evaluation of the ‘Addressing the Needs of Street-Involved and Homeless Youth in Hamilton’ Project (Development) Published by:  Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton Partners:  Street Youth Planning Collaborative (Good Shepherd Centres’ Youth Services, Wesley Urban Ministries, Living Rock Ministries, Alternatives for Youth, Catholic Family Services) Year of Publication:  2009 Purpose:  Evaluation, review and updates on pilot projects and initiatives, recommendations, recognized gaps in addressing the needs of street involved youth in Hamilton. Youth Retention, Attraction, and Engagement in Hamilton (Attraction, retention, engagement) Published by:  Hamilton Economic Development (In 2010 Hamilton Economic Development Strategy) Year of Publication:  2010 Purpose:  Summarize existent youth retention and attraction approaches both nationally and internationally, offer youth perspectives on where Hamilton stands in this regard, and make recommendations going forward, primarily, the compilation of a comprehensive youth retention and attraction strategy for the City of Hamilton. Quality of Life in Hamilton White Paper (Attraction, retention) Published by:  Jobs Prosperity Collaborative (JPC) Year of Publication:  2009 Purpose:  “To promote Hamilton’s quality of life as an attractor of jobs and investment. To strategize ways to improve the quality of life in Hamilton, both generally and as an engine of job creation and retention. This paper lays out a framework for the JPC’s approach to quality of life issues. It is a first step in formulating the JPC’s action plan on quality of life.”


Destination Hamilton: Values and Perceptions of Next Generation Talent (Attraction, Retention, development, engagement) Published by:  Hamilton Next Generation Project Partners:  Hamilton Economic Summit (under the auspices of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce), Next Generation Consulting Year of Publication:  2010 Purpose:  To assess and gauge youth, particularly, skilled youth and young professionals’, perspective of Hamilton as a destination for their cohort. Measurements of this perspective are gauged within seven indexes; vitality, earning, learning, social capital, cost of lifestyle, around town, and after hours. Recommendations are also made. Seeking Better Outcomes for Youth in Hamilton (Development, engagement) Published by:  Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton Partners:  United Way of Burlington and Greater Hamilton Year of Publication:   2011 Purpose:   To identify, profile and develop both a dialogue and strategies on how to better engage, assist and develop youth in Hamilton, particularly those who are at risk and face significant barriers to a healthy and prosperous adulthood. This is a significant document and should serve as essential research in moving towards the compilation of a youth strategy. McMaster Student Union: Student Perceptions of Hamilton (Attraction, retention) Published by:  McMaster Students Union Year of Publication:  2011 Purpose:  To assess and gauge the opinion of McMaster Undergraduate students in regards to the City of Hamilton. This report is concerned with how students engage with the city, how experience shapes their opinion, and what sort of relationship they will maintain with the city beyond their studies. The 8095 Exchange (Attraction, engagement) Published by:  Edelman, Strategy One Year of Publication:  2011 Purpose:  To identify and provide insight into Millennials/Generation Y (born between 1980-95), particularly how they connect, interact with, share information, influence and are influenced by, and build communities amongst themselves and in relation to companies, organizations and brands. This document provides necessary insight for any organization, company or community looking to attract and engage skilled youth.


Appendix 2

Profiles of Stakeholders Groups and Programs Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Purpose: The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce works to further the interests of business and businesses within the city. The organization represents the opinions of the businesses that comprise its membership, and, through various programs, initiatives and committees covering specific industry focuses, works towards goals that benefit business and economic activity in Hamilton. Current committees overseen by the Chamber include: • • • • • • • •

Hamilton Chamber Ambassadors Arts Business Business Development Environment & Energy Government Affairs Human Resources Science, Technology and Innovation Transportation

Composition/Participation: The Chamber is composed of members comprised by local businesses, an elected president, and hired staff led by an Executive Director or CEO. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: Aside from advancing the interests of its member businesses to the ends of establishing a business friendly environment in the city, the Chamber also maintains overall civic quality of life improvement goals through the creation of jobs and prosperity in the private sector. Website:

Hamilton Community Foundation – Youth Advisory Council Purpose: The primary focus of the Hamilton Community Foundation’s (HCF) Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is to engage youth between the ages of 11-25 in the Hamilton community, particularly for the sake of introducing them to community issues, challenges that are faced, and how philanthropic initiatives can provide potential solutions to these challenges. Members of the YAC review proposals for grants for youth oriented projects, fund projects, and develop their own community leadership skills. Composition/Participation: Youth, primarily secondary, post-secondary and skilled youth aged 14-25 years can follow an application process to be a member of YAC. The committee is overseen by an adult advisor on behalf of the HCF. Time Line: Ongoing initiative of the HCF. Intended Outcomes: The primary outcomes are for youth to develop leadership skills and knowledge about community issues, while simultaneously developing and approving grants for youth oriented community initiatives. Website:

22 City of Hamilton, Economic Development Purpose: City of Hamilton, Economic Development functions as the central point, and first line, of contact for businesses looking to establish, expand or relocate in Hamilton. This division of the City of Hamilton works to promote job creation and healthy economic activity, through services, research, and planning. Services include: • • • • • •

Site-selection assistance Information and research Coordination of City of Hamilton Services Brownfield redevelopment Industrial land development Small business creation

Composition/Participation: Large staff of economic development professionals focused on a wide variety of areas. Time Line: Ongoing division of the City of Hamilton. Intended Outcomes: The intended outcomes of City of Hamilton, Economic Development encompasses thriving economic activity in the City of Hamilton, inclusive of consistent job creation, small-business creation, corporate attraction, industrial land development, brownfield redevelopment, and revitalization activities. Website:

Hamilton Hive Purpose: To connect and engage young professionals and entrepreneurs (YPE) in Hamilton through connecting the existing YPE groups, mutually promoting theirs and other events, engaging its members with issues concerning city-life and the city’s development, and providing a unified voice and organization for Hamilton’s YPEs and Next Gen leaders. Composition/Participation: •

Executive committee comprised of a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary

General committee comprised of stakeholder groups: • CLiC (Art Gallery of Hamilton) • Cossart Exchange (Imperial Cotton Centre for the Arts) • HYPE (Kitestring Marketing) • FUSE (Hamilton Health Sciences) • GenNext (United Way) • Shift (ArcelorMittal Dofasco) • YEP (Hamilton Chamber of Commerce) • Y-Fi (Young Finance industry professionals)

Time Line: On going, leadership renews each year, vice-chair becomes chair, former chair stays on in past-chair capacity Intended Outcomes: • Engaged population of emerging leaders • Promotion of events going on in Hamilton for increased attendance • Attraction of young professionals to Hamilton through image shift • Increase in civic pride and engagement • Influence on civic decisions through an engaged, and representative platform Website:

23 Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction Purpose: The Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction works at connecting the many organizations working to reduce poverty and related issues in the Hamilton area. In doing this, HRPR strives to bring further public attention to such issues, through policy change, attracting funding to reduction initiatives, leveraging community strengths, and tracking community progress. Composition/Participation: Three staff members steward an organization overseen by 42 citizen volunteers representing a number of key sectors around the city. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: In line with the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative and official communications of the City of Hamilton, the outright eradication of poverty aside, HRPR aims to assist in making Hamilton the best place to raise a child. Website:

Hamilton Youth Advisory Committee Purpose: Overseen and administered by the City of Hamilton to ensure that the opinions and perspectives of youth (14-24 years of age) are taken into account in the broader political decision making frame-work of the City of Hamilton. Specifically, the committee reports directly to the Emergency and Community Services Committee, and sees consistent communication with select City Councillors. Composition/Participation: The committee is comprised of 20 members (aged 14-24 years), selected through an application process and serving for a period mirroring the term of City Council (four years). The committee is overseen by an elected chair and vice-chair (or co-chairs), serving for a term of one year, and administrative staff appointed by the City of Hamilton. Time Line: The Hamilton Youth Advisory Committee (HYAC), is an ongoing advisory committee, but each selected committee has a term of four years. Intended Outcomes: The identified goals of HYAC are to ensure youth perspectives are represented in the political decision making process, to advocate on behalf of youth, to communicate issues to youth in Hamilton, to develop initiatives for youth, and to recognize accomplishments and abilities of youth in the Hamilton community. Website:

Hamilton Youth Engagement Initiative Purpose: Established under the Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Working Group at McMaster University HYEI’s vision is to enhance youth engagement through civic participation and inspire youth across Canada to become active contributing members in their communities. Composition/Participation: A ‘youth with youth’ engagement strategy composed of adolescents matched with matured youth. Participating high school students engage in interactive and dynamic focus groups with post-secondary students in identifying and prioritizing issues/ concerns in surrounding communities. In addition to providing solutions to the identified information, participants will collectively draft a policy recommendation report that will be submitted to City Hall based on their work. Time Line: October 2011 – April 2012

24 Intended Outcomes: Engaging adolescent youth through a mentorship oriented relationship with post secondary students in addressing and resolving issues in surrounding communities. In addition to learning methods of documenting information, youth will learn the basic process of formulating a policy recommendation report. This process will also work to ‘burst the McMaster bubble’, and further integrate the McMaster community into the city of Hamilton by having students engage in an initiative that has them learning more about the city, outside of Westdale. Website:

Industry Education Council of Hamilton Purpose: Since 1980 the Industry Education Council of Hamilton (IEC), has worked specifically with various professional and education related partners to assist youth (specifically secondary students) in determining a career path, primarily through mentorship programs. Composition/Participation: Over seen by a volunteer Board of Directors, the IEC is driven by dedicated staff and community partners. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: The most over-arching goal of the IEC is to effectively transition youth in Hamilton from “learning to earning.” However, for the period between 2010 and 2015, the IEC will strive to focus on the following two areas (as stated on the IEC website): 1. “To act as the catalyst and champion of programs that encourages students to participate in experiential learning and become exposed to a variety of career options. We believe this will help youth make career choices that are best suited to their individual interests and needs.” 2. “To assist our local schools in advancing literacy and numeracy through school and business partnerships.” Website:

Jobs Prosperity Collaborative Purpose: Aligning its mission with the City of Hamilton’s, the Jobs Prosperity Collaborative (JPC) strives to make Hamilton “the best city in Canada to raise a child, promote innovation, engage citizens and provide diverse economic opportunities.” The JPC is focused on job creation and economic improvement in Hamilton through focusing on seven “framework priorities”: • Innovation and learning • Hamilton’s image • Quality of life • Immigration • Commercial land & infrastructure • Supportive planning process • Economic portfolio Composition/Participation: The JPC’s membership is open to anyone in Hamilton with an interest in community development. Currently there are over 70 members representing all areas of the Hamilton community including the business, education, not-for-profit, and arts and culture sectors. Time Line: An ongoing collaborative. Intended Outcomes: To see long-term economic change in Hamilton through the introduction of new industries, economic development, and the creation of jobs. Website:


McMaster University – Student Success Centre (Career and Employment) Purpose: To assist the students of McMaster University in professional development opportunities, career planning, and assistance with job applications, interviews and entry into employment. This department of the Student Success Centre will also assist alumni for a period of time following the completion of their time at the University. Composition/Participation: A complement of dedicated full-time staff in various coordinator and advisor roles. Time Line: Ongoing service office of McMaster University. Intended Outcomes: To see the successful transition of McMaster students, from their program duration to gainful employment, as well as being able to communicate the graduate success rate to current students and potential applicants. Website:

McMaster University – Student Success Centre (McMaster Office for Community Service Learning and Civic-Engagement) Purpose: The McMaster Office for Community Service Learning and Civic-Engagement (MacOCSLCE) seeks to engage students of McMaster University in leadership, discussion and learning opportunities on the topic of community development, both locally and globally. This is done through a number of programs such as; MacServe Day of Service, a day of volunteering in the Hamilton community, and the MacServe Reading Week Series, which sees teams of students embark on community service learning trips all over North America. Composition/Participation: This office is within the Student Success centre which itself is under McMaster Student Affairs, it is overseen by a full-time director and a complement of part-time student staff. Time Line: Ongoing office at McMaster University. Intended Outcomes: Through experiential learning opportunities, the goals of this office encompass the capacity to instill in students a greater understanding of their role in both the local and global community, as well as their potential to effect positive change. Website:

Mohawk College Access Project Purpose: To create more opportunity for under-represented groups in the post-secondary realm, this project is built around three pillars: • Outreach – Both in the community and through guidance offices • Engage and connect to education • Retention – Seeking to ensure engaged students remain at Mohawk until the successful completion of their program of choice Composition/Participation: Still currently in “roll-out” stage, by staff within the faculty of Experiential Education at Mohawk College. Time Line: From fall 2011, to be an ongoing initiative.


Intended Outcomes: Greater engagement of under-represented groups in the post-secondary realm, increased enrolment rates in post-secondary education and training, and increased program completion rates. Website: N/A

Mohawk College Student Services Purpose: Of specific concern within the Mohawk Student Services area, is the sub-departments of Student Experience and Athletics, which, athletics aside, looks to better integrate Mohawk students into their immediate community and the broader city of Hamilton, and Student Employment, which looks to connect Mohawk students to job opportunities in Hamilton and the surrounding area. Composition/Participation: These departments are overseen by Directors and assisted by full-time staff. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: The successful integration of Mohawk students in Hamilton’s communities, and the assurance that they find success and personal prosperity after their program’s completion. Website:

Post-Secondary Alumni Associations Purpose: The purpose of these associations is to maintain a relationship with the Alumni of a given post-secondary institution for the sake of enhancing the institution’s reputation (through keeping track of alumni’s accomplishments) and through encouraging alumni to give back to the institution to ensure its continued development. This is primarily done through alumni relationship management initiatives including networking and social events, awards, and educational/developmental programs. Composition/Participation: An appointed group of an institution’s alumni serve as the association’s board of directors. This board oversees the operations of an official department of the given institution, which itself, is led by a director. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: Maintain a relationship with alumni, facilitate the extent to which they may maintain a relationship with each other, enhance the reputation of a given institution, encourage alumni donations and gifts back to the institution. Websites: McMaster Alumni Association Mohawk Alumni Association Redeemer Alumni Association

27 Post-Secondary Student Representative Groups Purpose: The post-secondary student representative organizations work to represent the interests of the undergraduate and graduate students of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Redeemer University College to their respective school’s administration and various levels of Canadian governance, while also working to foster an overall positive experience for the duration of their students’ program. This is primarily done through lobbying and dialogues, project coordination and the delivery of various services. Composition/Participation: Led by elected, boards of directors (in some cases, non-students employed full-time), organizationally overseen by volunteer representative assemblies. Depending on the organization’s size and operations, composition may drastically change, for example, the McMaster Students Union and Mohawk Students Association is stewarded by full-time staff and a large number of part-time staff, each in management, coordinator, and service representative roles. Time Line: Ongoing groups and autonomously incorporated organizations within their post-secondary environments. Intended Outcomes: Successful representation of student interests, to inform various external policies that may affect the student experience, while also ensuring optimum service delivery to improve the overall quality of student life. Websites: DeGroote School of Business MBA Association McMaster Graduate Students Association McMaster Students Union Mohawk Student Association Redeemer Student Senate

Social Planning Research Council of Hamilton Purpose: The Social Planning Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC) provides independent research, social planning and community development services to Hamilton. On the topic of youth, the SPRC conducts much work in the way of research on, and proposed solutions to, the challenges faced by at-risk youth and street-involved youth. The SPRC works in partnership with the Street Youth Planning Collaborative (SYPC), which is a multi-stakeholder committee of directors, front line staff and homeless youth. The SYPC consists of community agencies that are mandated to work with street-involved and homeless youth. With support from the SPRC, this collaboration is effectively working together to identify gaps, advocate for, support and facilitate an enhanced systems of services for homeless youth. The committee of directors are informed and advised by the front line staff and street- involved youth who bring forth information and experiences on the realities of being a homeless youth. The SYPC agencies include: • • • • • •

Good Shepherd Youth Services Wesley Urban Ministries – Wesley Youth Housing Living Rock Ministries Catholic Family Services – St Martin’s Manor Alternatives for Youth Hamilton Regional Indian Centre


Composition/Participation: The SPRC is a not-for-profit charitable organization driven by a diverse team of employees and community volunteers. Time Line: An ongoing community service. Intended Outcomes: Through research and recommended solutions, SPRC aims to improve programs, services and partnerships offered by organizations in Hamilton for the benefit of marginalized and low income citizens. Website:

Workforce Planning Hamilton Purpose: Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) is a local community planning agency focused on developing solutions to Hamilton Labour market issues by engaging relevant stakeholders and community partners. Composition/Participation: Business, labour, education & training, and equity groups including women , immigrants & visible minorities, francophones, persons with disabilities. The WPH office is overseen by an Executive Director, and a dedicated staff, as well as contracted researchers. Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: WPH’s vision is for a prosperous Hamilton where labour market issues are proactively addressed and individuals and organizations are able to achieve their objectives. This vision will be achieved through an evidence-based labour market planning process that identifies key issues and collaborative solutions. Website:

29 Youth Employment Network of Hamilton Purpose: The Youth Employment Network of Hamilton (YEN) “identifies, initiates and implements innovative solutions to put ideas and young people to work.” This mission of YEN is driven by three primary objectives as outlined on the Network’s website: • • •

“To encourage communication, networking and partnership among youth service providers within our community.” “To identify issues based on research and information from young people and frontline service providers.” “To initiate and implement innovative solutions using community resources to link young people and work.”

Composition/Participation: YEN is composed of representatives from a number of different employment related Youth service delivery organizations in and around the Hamilton area, including: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Centre francais Hamilton Inc. City of Hamilton – Ontario Works College Boreal Community Centre for Media Arts Employment Hamilton Goodwill Hamilton’s Centre for Civic Inclusion Hamilton Public Library – Jobs Discovery Centres Hamilton Regional Indian Centre Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board Industry-Education Council of Hamilton John Howard Society (Hamilton, Burlington & Area) Living Rock Mohawk College – Community Employment Services PATH Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC) The Career Foundation – Completing the Circle Program VPI Wesley Urban Ministries Women’s Centre of Hamilton Workforce Planning Hamilton (WPH) YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford

Time Line: Ongoing activities. Intended Outcomes: To improve the assistance and services offered to youth in employment transition through encouraging greater levels of collaboration and, through strategic partnerships, developing and implementing new initiatives. Website:


Appendix 3

Key Informants City of Hamilton - Councillors

Brian McHattie Tom Jackson

City of Hamilton – Economic Development

Norm Schleehahn

Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

David Adames

Hamilton Hive

Michael Marini

Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

Tom Cooper

Hamilton Wentworth Board of Education

Peter Joshua Em DelSordo

Industry Education Council

Mia Wilkinson Tony Mark

Jobs Prosperity Collaborative

Mark Chamberlain

McMaster University

Mary Koziol, Community Initiatives Adam Kuhn, Office of Community Service, Learning and Civic Engagement Karen McQuigge, Alumni Office

McMaster University

Matthew Dillon-Leitch Alicia Ali

Members of the Youth Employment Network Mohawk College

Michelle Ball Rose Gilles

Niagara Workforce Planning Board

Vanessa Bilenduke

Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton

Patti McNaney Erika Morton


Appendix 4

Community Engagement Participants David


Hamilton Chamber of Commerce



McMaster Students Union



Mohawk College



Niagara Workforce Planning Board






HPL - Job Discovery Centres



United Way


Del Sordo

HWDSB, Student Success


Des Jardins

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board



McMaster Students Union



Mohawk College


Fréchette Vella

Collège Boréal



YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford



Mohawk College



Mohawk College



SHIFT, ArcelorMittal Dofasco



Small Business Enterprise Centre



Workforce Planning Hamilton






McMaster University



McMaster Student Success Centre



Conseil scolaire Viamonde












Workforce Planning Hamilton






City of Hamilton



McMaster University



Art Gallery of Hamilton






City of Hamilton



City of Hamilton



Trans Hub



Employment Hamilton



Centre français Hamilton inc.



Workforce Planning Hamilton



Mohawk College






City of Hamilton


Appendix 5

Local Organizations – Six Month Plan Arcelor Mittal Dofasco - Month

Planned Activities


Attraction:  on-going – promoting the City of Hamilton through our community strength website – why Hamilton is a great place to work, play, live


Retention and Development:  SHIFT professional development event – question and answer on relevant issues answered by people in your own age group – address AMD 100 initiatives Engagement:  Annual Xmas Party





Engagement:  Employee Survey projects underway – enhanced communication Attraction:  Mohawk College Career Fair Development:  SHIFT social event – theme tbd Attraction:  Hamilton Employment Crawl in association with McMaster University Development:  SHIFT professional development event – theme tbd Engagement:  100 year celebration kicks off – connect with City of Hamilton

Art Gallery of Hamilton - Month

Planned Activities

November – April

Attraction, Retention, Engagement and Development:  on-going – Click group, education programs and workshops, volunteering, I Love Films program, World Film Fest, on-going free programming for Mohawk, Mac, Redeemer students, live musical events, co-ops and internships

33 Centre Francais Hamilton Inc - Month

Planned Activities Retention:  Hamilton Discovery Day at AGH (focused on French speaking newcomers), high school leadership camp


Engagement:  concerts, youth committee Development:  youth leadership camp, youth leadership committee Retention:  cultural food fest, Hamilton Discovery Day at Dundurn Castle


Engagement:  youth committee Development:  youth leadership committee, Francophone youth space Retention:  concerts


Engagement:  concerts, youth committee Development:  youth leadership committee, Francophone youth space Retention:  concerts (focus of Black History Month)


Engagement:  concerts, youth committee Development:  youth leadership committee, Francophone youth space


Engagement:  youth committee Development:  youth leadership committee, Francophone youth space Retention:  Youth Art Contest


Development:  youth leadership committee Engagement:  youth committee, Francophone youth space

34 City of Hamilton – Ontario Works - Month

Planned Activities Retention:  follow – up – creative a more inviting atmosphere – offer support once hired (on-going) Engagement:  group activities and programs (on-going)

November – April

Development:  job fairs, assessment workshops, resume development, interview skills, addictions programs, community hub involvement (outreach), volunteer programs (Helping Hands) and community partnerships, high school outreach, SCORE program, employment job search, one to one counseling, student hiring (summer employment), student placements in City, resume preparation for summer students with HR, life skills workshops, computer training component (related to job search), skill development training funds, connection with Amos Key Jr. re high school, on-line learning for Aboriginal youth, connection with job developers, specific workshops eg finding work with a criminal record, St. Martin’s Manor, Interval House

Community Centre for Media Arts (CCMA) - Month

Planned Activities


Development and engagement:  monkeybiz -


Development and engagement:  monkeybiz -


Development and engagement:  monkeybiz -


Development and engagement:  monkeybiz -



Retention:  Project: post-secondary to work Development and engagement:  monkeybiz - Retention:  Project – work experience Development and engagement:  monkeybiz -

35 Employment Hamilton - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  website, marketing all aspects of employment assistance Retention:  on-going follow-up of youth (all clients) to assist and provide supports for maintaining employment, one-to-one mentoring for job retention, job fairs to provide opportunities for employment

November – April

Engagement:  workshops relating to job searching, interviewing, job retention, in house training on WHMIS, customer service, smart serve, community agency involvement providing outreach services to at-risk youth in their protected environments Development:  how to job search effectively as well as interview and maintain employment once its found, workplace behaviour skills for job maintenance

Hamilton Hive - Month

Planned Activities


Attraction/Retention and Engagement :  blog posts and boosting web presence, filtering out events, initiatives, etc , information dissemination on networking and social stuff –making connections and relationships (ongoing over the six month) Attraction:  discussing development of YA policies


Development:  policy and lobby directions for internships, etc Engagement:  engaging members in policy and lobby planning (on-going) Attraction:  discussion lobby practices


Retention:  mentorship, leadership connection Development:  mentorship, leadership, program development




Attraction:  lobbying local leaders Development:  lobbying – see December Attraction:  Economic Summit media preparation Engagement:  Hamilton Economic Summit planning

Attraction and Development and Engagement:  HIVEx planning

36 Hamilton Public Library – Job Discovery Centre – Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  workshops (job), employment preparation, offsite information sessions (on-going)

November – April

Development:  community outreach workshops, 1 on 1 assistance (on-going) Engagement:  working on member projects, outreach, community information sessions (on-going) Retention:  workshops, referral to agencies, assist with issues, barriers (on-going)

Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  Riverdale neighbourhood hub – employ youth community development worker and oversee a small projects funding grant – oversee a community development worker in the Keith and Wever neighbourhoods – United Way Youth Outcomes Strategy collaborative (on-going)

November – April

Retention:  Member of Youth Outcomes Strategy Collaborative (on-going) Collaboration support to Street Youth Planning Collaborative and Young Parent Network (ongoing) Neighbourhood strategies in Riverdale, Keith and Wever (ongoing) Engagement:  provide collaborative support to Street Youth Planning Collaborative (ongoing) and Young Parent Network (ongoing) Development:  See above – and provide support to Hamilton Partners in Nutrition collaborative (ongoing)

Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board – PCE - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  offer programs and services that attract students from other boards, areas of Ontario and world wide – varied options, leadership opportunities and engagement in learning (on going through 6 months)

November – April

Retention:  create opportunities for youth to ‘own’ their learning and programs we provide them (eg summer programs, school culture, education programs, linked to careers) (on-going) Engagement:  Engage youth in established groups to organize and contribute to the development of community hubs of youth-led activity in our schools (during the day and after hours) (on-going) Development:  Provide mentorship opportunities that provide skills and development and link young people to career options in Hamilton (eg Focus on Youth program) (ongoing)

37 Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  provide programs to attract families to send their kids to a HWDSB school ie SHSM program – parents moving to Hamilton have called to ask ‘what schools offer a SHSM in arts or health care or construction (ongoing) Retention:  we offer several school to work programs to prepare students for direct entry to work eg. Healthcare support worker program partnered with HHS – they hire directly from program – Home building program – contractors hire right from program Retention:  SHSM programs have only been approved in sectors that are viable locally – dual credit program – students attend Mohawk College and get high school and college credit which they can use if they attend Mohawk after graduating from high school – OYAP for students

November – April

Retention:  co-op keeps many ‘at-risk’ students in school to at least graduate from high school (on-going) Engagement:  keep kids in school to graduate from high school – then to work, apprenticeship, college or university – relevant programs so students see a future here, co-op being used to keep kids in school to at least graduate from high school, big push on ‘student voice’ – giving high school students a voice Development:  courses and programs to get students ready for 5 destinations – apprenticeship, college, community living, university, workplace – new emphasis on learning skills and work habits in all courses – co-op kids get out into community to see what’s out there – experience plus see potential careers

McMaster Students Union - Month

Planned Activities


Retention:  letter to the City of Hamilton supporting LRT


Attraction:  presentation to city council on ‘Your City Survey’ Engagement:  survey on LRT and HSR service level issues

January February

Engagement:  symposium on innovations in education


Engagement:  ‘Guide to Hamilton’ for students


38 Mohawk College – Alumni - Month

Planned Activities Attraction and Retention:  Mountaineer Weekend – returning alumni


Retention:  Etiquette Dinner Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, sharing information

December January

Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, website, pictures with Santa Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, website Engagement:  Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner


Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, website


Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, website, career networking, etiquette dinner


Attraction, Engagement and Development:  social media, website

Mohawk College – Student Engagement and Employment - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  high school student BB tournaments – OFSSA volleyball recruitment Retention:  off campus housing meet and greet, voluntary and clubs listing, student ambassador program


Engagement:  Partnership with Bulldogs – discount tickets to games, interconnected Education Week, Santa Claus Parade Development:  monthly employment workshops such as resume, interviewing skills, holiday employment opportunities, etc


Attraction:  High school students invite to games (on-going) Engagement:  volunteer listing in community (on-going)

January Retention:  graduate employment survey, entrepreneurship sessions February

Engagement:  invite local high school students to participate in pre-game games before Varsity games and work with them at schools Attraction:  Open House for college programs


Retention:  Job Career Fairs Development:  Job career fairs/ volunteer fairs


39 United Way of Burlington, Greater Hamilton - Month

Planned Activities


Attraction, Retention, Development:  GenNext participate in campaign - youth planning collaborative – strategic planning session and on-going work

December January February

Development:  planning meeting with agencies re volunteer opportunities

March April

Development:  opportunity to apply for funding grants

YMCA of Hamilton, Burlington, Brantford - Month

Planned Activities Attraction:  Financial literacy, Newcomer youth center – planned activities every month – homework club, cooking classes, girls night, etc, Mac students as volunteers (on-going) Retention:  part of ongoing ES services – helping find employment and ensuring they keep it (on-going), employment specialists seek to place clients in local work

November – April

Engagement:  subsidized membership in several schools and at CWY, involvement in school workshops on a variety of topics in secondary schools (on-going), providing youth with volunteer opportunities to get involved in the community, going into schools to engage youth and talk about resumes, how to dress for success Development:  leadership programs for youth 10 -14, development assets - recognizing when youth have done something well, holding youth accountable (on-going), workshops at SJAM about leadership training, volunteer opportunities, developmental assets, job development skills including resumes, interview skills, cover letters, job search and networking

Workforce Planning Hamilton

Business, Labour & Community: Planning for Prosperity Since 1997 Workforce Planning Hamilton has provided planning, partnerships and projects that highlight local labour market trends and support workforce development. WPH is a member of Workforce Planning Ontario, a network of 25 labour market planning areas across Ontario. Our evidence-based approach relies on key industry sector and demographic data combined with local intelligence from employers and other local partners to develop a strategic vision for Hamilton.

Log on to WPH’s website at and you will: Discover our community Projects and Partners that promote labour force development Learn about local labour market trends, opportunities, and priorities in our Publications. Connect to Links on training, employment, and labour market information.

117-77 James Street North Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 2K3 Telephone: 905- 521-5777 Fax: 905- 521-9309 Email: Website:

Workforce Planning Hamilton is funded by Employment Ontario

Youth Strategy for Hamilton  
Youth Strategy for Hamilton  

The goal of this report is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive Youth Strategy in Hamilton, a strategy that will contribute to the deve...