Smith announces $900,000 investment in hands-on training for those facing barriers to employment



BELLEVILLE – Ontario is committed to putting people back to work with a focus on job training and personal development. A commitment of $900,000 will help multi-barriered individuals in the Quinte region get job-ready, by teaching them hard and soft skills to better position them for sustainable, long-term employment.

The project - funded through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development and run through Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA-HPE) – will connect people with food service industry jobs, including those with disabilities, a lack of formal education or homelessness.

“I’m very proud of the work that the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Hastings and Prince Edward branch is doing to ensure people of all abilities are able to contribute to our community,” said Todd Smith, MPP for the Bay of Quinte. “Having a job is so much more than collecting a paycheque, it’s about the pride and sense of accomplishment that comes with reaching one’s potential.”

Today’s announcement builds on Ontario government’s work to create meaningful paths to employment, and ensure people have the skills they need to succeed in today’s economy. Within 10 weeks, IN-Spire Futures plans to take on its first cohort of candidates who will complete a 10-week course. The skills obtained through programs like IN-Spire Futures are extremely valuable for those seeking to enter or re-enter the workforce.

“This is an incredible project that will help those who face barriers when it comes to finding work,” said Smith. “This will have a transformative impact not only on these individuals, but also on the public services that support them, and on our broader Quinte region economy.”

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training, and Skills Development for Ontario agreed the program will benefit both participants and employers within the region.

"Our government is committed to helping people develop the skills and knowledge to get good jobs in high-demand areas," said McNaughton. "By funding this project, we are creating potential careers for people with barriers to employment and helping employers get the talent they need to support their businesses."

CMHA’s training will be delivering its training at the industrial kitchen on-site at “IN-Spire Café”, a social enterprise partnership with Continuing on in Education.