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FINDING THE RIGHT FIT! Looking for a skilled candidate to fill your next job opening? SUPPORT FOR YOUR NEW HIRE UP TO 6 MONTHS 

YOU NEED TO HIRE A NEW EMPLOYEE Pathways Mission is to assist individuals to overcome obstacles to meaningful employment. We can be great at our jobs, but without Employers with whom to partner we could not be successful. This month we want to focus on our partnership with London area Employers, and highlight these important partners and stakeholders. In 2016 alone, over 200 different employers hired clients of Pathways. These employers represent pretty much every type of business and industry London holds: manufacturing, hospitality, home repair and renovation, call centres, restaurants, cleaning companies, roofing and siding, insurance and service companies, to name but a few.

But aren't sure where to find the right candidate!

An Employment Placement Specialist will follow-up with your new employee for the first 6 months, helping them to overcome any obstacles that arise in the transition. 



Will meet with you to learn more about what you are looking for in an employee, and what would make them the right fit for your company. After this meeting they will reach out to potential candidates! 

You meet  candidates and see if they are the right person for the position.  If not, the team provides more support to seek out additional applicants.

Our Employment Placement Specialists, Bob, Sandi and Laurie, are experts at matching employers’ needs with our clients’ skills. They are out in the community forging relationships with employers, getting to know their business and their needs, so that they can best find just the right employees for each situation.


We are happy to focus this month on one of these employers, the Wortley Village Y. Over the past year, the Wortley Village Y  has hired  3 employees from Pathways.


- Jerry Colwell,  Director of Client Services


Let's take a closer look at what happened in 2016!


HIRED NEW EMPLOYEES THROUGH PATHWAYS  Cover Photo: Chris Wick, General Manager, Wortley Village Y

Hired News | Issue 6 |  page 1

Come in,



The Month in Pictures!

THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON!  Photos:  Top Row (Left to Right): Sandi Firman, Employment Placement Specialist, celebrates with Graduate Maureen; Full house at the ACT Graduation ;  Class members laugh during opening remarks.  Centre Row (Left to Right); LIT Facilitator Shane Jack puts up the "opening in June" sign at the Woodshop; The LIT class "sets the table" with the forklift; A close up of setting the table.  Bottom Row (left to right): Our CEO, Paul Hubert, gives longtime Recording Secretary, Barbara Broadbent, a going away present after 15 years on our Board; House completed by the last CTT class;  Longtime Volunteer Clayton assists with setting-up for grad!




EMPLOYER INTERVIEW: WORTLEY VILLAGE YMCA An interview with Chris Wick,General Manager, Wortley Village Y

We recently sat down with Chris Wick, the General Manager of the new Wortley Village

There is a significant amount of time that the cleaning team spends on the childcare floor, cleaning and sterilizing each one of those rooms.

Y, to talk about his experience hosting co-op students and hiring through Pathways.

Sarah: Chris, thank you so much for speaking with me today. To start can you give us an idea of how many employees you've hired through Pathways?

The other two levels are administrative floors. All of our administrative roles for the YMCA are housed here. Facility cleaning staff have to do the daily vacuuming, cleaning and sterilizing surfaces, that kind of thing .

Chris: I would say  we have hired 3 and a half employees through Pathways.  Three that came directly from the Property Maintenance Training (PMT) program, and had done their placement and co-op with us. And another we hired independently but he had also done some training at Pathways.

They care for the exterior of the building as well. They are responsible for the exterior of the ground. They will do a daily sweep outside to ensure that garbage or anything else that is unsafe out there is taken care of. There is quite a bit of variety but there is some routine in that they have to clean certain areas every day.

What are the day to day responsibilities of the staff you’ve hired through us?

So how did you first learn about Pathways?

All 4 were hired as cleaning staff at the Wortley Village Y. Their primary responsibility is cleaning and maintenance of the facility.  So the day to day task of cleaning all of our various spaces. In the building we have 8 classrooms for language instruction that can sit anywhere between 80 and 100 people, so there is a school component.  They have to clean the classrooms, the tables, the chairs, so those kinds of things. There is also a childcare centre that is licensed for 106 children from 3 months to preschool. So you can imagine that the cleaning requirements in that space are a little bit more significant.

Laurie, a Pathways job developer, connected with me when we moved into our new building.  I had  general knowledge of Pathways as a service organization in the community, but not the details of the PMT program. Laurie enlightened me on the skills that the students have when they come out of that program,  and I was happy to take on a few coops. At the time we were starting from scratch, we needed to hire staff and develop our new routines and structures.  So pretty much as soon as we moved in I knew that you had this great program and we were interested in taking on some co-op students.


How long ago did you move into your new facility? We moved in September of 2016, so 8 months ago. Frankly, the students that came out of the PMT program have been really great because when you move into a new facility you don’t have established routines. It’s not like you can come in and say here’s the checklist, here’s where you need to start and what you need to clean, and where the problem areas are going to be.  A lot of the programming in this building was brand new.  Coming into this building  we had to understand the ebb and flow of the programs, when people were coming and going. What needs to be cleaned and what needs more urgent or immediate attention versus what can wait. The PMT students  came in with a wealth of knowledge:  these are the procedures that you use when cleaning a space; this is where you start and this is how you move; and this is the cloth that you use and the chemicals you use and the time they should stay on. They were really strong with systems information and they were quite flexible with adapting to our needs. 

You’ve hosted a number of co-op placements: Have you found this to be a worthwhile experience? Yes, it has been great. The students have come in with a good skill set, and they come in with a good attitude.  The skill set is generally easy to teach, people are willing to learn, but the attitude is more difficult to embrace. Pathways graduates have  come in here with a great attitude which has been really helpful. The students that we have hosted have been really eager to put their skills to use.  I hear stories of Chris (PMT facilitator) doing his inspections and tests, particularly with the glow dots. I have heard several stories of that. Now they get to put all of this great stuff to use. There have been several times where our staff members have said that what Chris taught them is exactly what they should be doing and what works best. They value the lessons they've learned from him. 

Photos on this page (left to right): Chris Wick and Laurie  Rintoul (a Pathways Employment Development Specialist); The Wortley Y building.    HIRED NEWS


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What has your experience been like hiring staff through Pathways job developers?   It’s been great. Laurie has been really great to work with. We had a conversation about what the YMCA is about and the programming we offer in this building.  We have a very diverse population sharing this building, from new Canadians and children attending daycare to our CEO and our senior management. The staff that come in need to understand that this is the environment that they are working in. When they are here the building is fully operational so there are all of these different communities in the building that they need to be able to interact with, and be respectful towards. Other employees have different priorities and different things going on, so the students that Laurie has selected for us have always been a great fit for our organization. They come in with a great attitude towards implementing our services, and Laurie has been really easy to work with. Do you feel the PMT program has benefited your organization?   Absolutely! They come with a skill set, after 8 weeks of PMT, that  would take me much longer to train to that caliber, simply because during their training they have lots of opportunity to try different techniques and systems and tools. Whereas  if they were in an employment situation they would still need to get work done so  they would only be able to cover certain components over a certain period of time , and that would take much longer to get them the same degree of knowledge that they get from the Pathways program. When they start with me they hit the ground running, so really for the most part we just need to show them where everything is, and away they go. You know the broom is over here, the mop is over there, this is the key you need to get into the space, and away you go.  Issue 27 | 234

What other means have you used for recruiting new staff? We did job postings on our website and some other websites.  We also distribute internally.  In general the students that come out of the PMT program have a great idea of the general tasks that we want to do: how to clean, how to sterilize and how to move about the room. They know how to verify that you have cleaned all of the surfaces so they come in with a real high level of  knowledge.  An individual who is just recruited through external means may not have that same degree of knowledge. They may not have the same thorough attention to detail that is ingrained in them through the PMT program.   Would you recommend Pathways to other employers for their hiring needs? Absolutely.  Particularly with the PMT program, if there is a need within our organization or others for facility cleaning staff. The PMT program really prepares individuals to take on these roles, so I would be happy to recommend this program to anyone who is looking for that skill set. The YMCA wants to provide opportunities for growth of individuals.  A lot of people know us for our health and fitness facilities – going to the gym and developing ourselves, but it is also through our employment experiences that we develop a lot of leadership, at all levels of the organization.   It has been a really positive experience for us and I think that we have provided some really meaningful experience for the graduates of the program. Thank you so much, Chris! 


FINDING MEANING - AND A COMMUNITY One year ago Tim was  overwhelmed by negative experiences and doubt. Today he works at the Wortley Village Y and is an active member of the community TIM Graduate, Property Maintenance Training Program CURRENT ROLE Full-time Cleaner,  Wortley Village Y Active Member, Health & Safety Committee

Before coming to Pathways I was feeling burnt out and hopeless, thinking I'd never find a job I was going to enjoy. I was angry and depressed. Feeling useless. I knew I needed some major help but I didn't think the kind of help I needed existed.

I'm not 100% sure where I first heard of Pathways. But my OW case worker recommended that I work with them, and my Employment Counselor Leslie recommended I take the Property Maintenance Training (PMT) course.

I had a growing gap in my employment history, transportation issues, and I had exhausted my immediate network for leads and references. I really had a hard time reaching out and trying sell myself as an asset to an employer.  

It was a great class, we had a good group of 6 guys all of different ages and experiences. Getting to work on the offsites was awesome. I really enjoyed getting around town and  getting to work in some unique buildings.  The best part of P.M.T. though was the instructor, Chris Goss. He is one of a kind that's for sure!  If I had to use only five words to describe him they would be: genuine, authentic, inspiring, experienced, and understanding.  

And I had to overcome the challenge of being so introverted and changing my negative attitude. Trying to be positive and have a hopeful outlook. Those were the most challenging for me.      

He really brought it all together and showed us how the tips and tricks can be applied to the real world. He also offered some cautionary tales of things to be aware of in the workplace. Overall I'd say he was a key contributor to my success with the program. Thanks Chris!

".. It's not a glamorous job but it's important. People are more productive, creative, happy and healthy in a clean environment. ”



Changing Perspective

"I'm forever grateful they took a chance on me!"

The PMT class really changed my perspective on the industry. Learning the importance of having a clean working environment and the many ways it affects a business.  It's not a glamorous job but it's important.  People are more productive, creative, happy and healthy in a clean environment.    

My Job @ the Wortley Y My job at the Wortley Village Y means so much to me, for so many reasons!  I've never worked in a place with such a positive culture; the people here are amazing!  It feels like a second home with an extended family.  We're all new to the Wortley building and new challenges pop up everyday but the management team here really listens and is willing to let us try anything we think will get the job done best. It's a freedom most people don't have in the workplace.   Being part of an organization that has such a positive impact in the community has lots of hidden little perks! I'm not embarrassed to wear my uniform in public. People see that Y logo and usually will start a conversation or share a Y story or sometimes they just sing the song. Three things I value greatly about my new job are trust, respect and freedom.   It gives me a great sense of duty and loyalty to the YMCA. I'm forever grateful they took a chance on me.  I go in every day and try to do the best I can, stay positive and I believe they really do want me to have a good day at work.  I never thought that was possible!  

My Advice Try Pathways. Once you get there it might be really hard to do but you need to open up and talk to all the great people on who work there.  The more they get to know you the better they can help find you something that's going to be a good fit for you.  If you put in a honest effort you can be working at the end of the program. Enjoy the process!  

My favourite inspirational quote... "It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop." Confucius "Fall seven times and stand up eight." Japanese Proverb


Story: Hosting Co-op Students John Finan of Finan Home Services first found out about Pathways when an Employment Placement Specialist contacted him about hosting a co-op student. Today, 6 years later, John feels it has been a really good experience. The process of bringing co-op placement onsite through his business has been pretty easy and worthwhile.  "The Pathways people make all the arrangements and make sure the person we are bringing in will benefit from the training and job site exposure. The students are always on time and eager to get to work and learn.  They get themselves to our shop every morning and are ready to work." It’s really nice to see someone get comfortable over the course of the week.  They are usually a bit timid the first day but settle in after a few days. I would recommend you consider taking on a Pathways co-op student!" 

Finan Home Service has hosted 8 Co-op Students!

Who is Finan Home Service? Established in 1994, Finan specializes in residential services. They employ 18 people and offer heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing services.



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Do you know  a first or second generation newcomer young adult looking for skills training or employment?


We have funding to offer you training free of charge!

Start dates are subject to individual meeting program criteria & may change.

Call 519-667-7795


Working at Heights As of April 1st 2017 all construction companies are required to ensure that their employees have  successfully completed the mandatory  Working at Heights Certification to meet the new code!  Even those wanting to work in entry level construction positions must now have this certification!

First Aid/ CPR

Forklift Operation

This two-day course will give you the skills you need to respond to both minor and major emergencies in a workplace environment.

Developed in accordance with the Canadian Standards Association, Ontario Health and Safety Association and Ministry Of Labour this program will provide you with the confidence to safely and skilfully operate a forklift.

You will learn all aspects of emergency First Aid, giving you the confidence and skills to handle emergency injury situations. Pathways is an authorized Red Cross provider.

Pathways is a registered Working at Heights training facility!

Contact us today!

Our Skills Campus has the space, equipment and setting to ensure you get a true-to-life experience on the forklift. This two-day course fills quickly so contact us soon to register!


Hired News: Issue 7 (April/ May 2017)  

In this issue: Chris Wick of the Wortley Y talks with us about his experience hiring through Pathways. One year ago Tim was overwhelmed by n...

Hired News: Issue 7 (April/ May 2017)  

In this issue: Chris Wick of the Wortley Y talks with us about his experience hiring through Pathways. One year ago Tim was overwhelmed by n...