Conestoga news

August 14, 2023 7:33 AM

CISWP leads workforce training and skills project for Waterloo Region

The Canadian Institute for Safety, Wellness & Performance (CISWP) at Conestoga College is collaborating with employers and community organizations in Waterloo Region to help strengthen the community by supporting economic and workforce development. Through a project funded by the Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) Community Workforce Development Program, CISWP will help students, job seekers and workers develop the skills needed to adapt to a changing labour market through training and on-the-job work experience.

The project will support community workforce planning by bringing collaborators together from across industries and sectors, identifying high-growth areas, and finding local sources of labour to meet employer demand. This community-based approach to workforce planning and skills training will support local economic development and growth in Waterloo Region, and builds on CISWP’s extensive program of research around equity, diversity and inclusion in the Canadian workforce.

CISWP also aims to improve diversity and inclusion by supporting underrepresented groups in the labour market.

“With a focus on diversity and inclusion, our project will foster a local workforce reflective of our community, including youth, women, persons with disabilities and newcomers,” said Dr. Amin Yazdani, CISWP executive director. “This project aligns with the institute’s goals to engage stakeholders to develop, promote and implement effective and sustainable solutions while empowering and enabling communities to support the labour force in striving for meaningful and fulfilling employment.”

This project will support the continued economic development of local, rural and small communities within Waterloo Region by supporting small businesses, particularly in high-demand and/or significantly evolving sectors. CISWP will promote the adoption of new technologies and innovations to small businesses to increase safety, productivity and performance while reducing costs and easing workforce challenges.

CISWP is pleased to collaborate with several partners to achieve the goals of the initiative including Rick Hansen Foundation, Skills Ontario, Specialisterne Canada, Workforce Planning Board of Waterloo Wellington Dufferin, Immigrants Working Centre and more.

“We are excited to continue our collaboration with Conestoga College on this timely and important workforce development project for the small communities that make up Waterloo Region,” said Ian Howcroft, chief executive officer, Skills Ontario. “This project will advance the knowledge and capability of our current and future workforce, and ultimately enhance Ontario’s skilled trades and technologies competitive advantage. Supporting small communities and small businesses is essential for the prosperity of Ontario. It is critical to support them in sustaining Ontario’s current skilled trades and technologies workforce and support the next generation to fully success in their future careers.”

“Economic diversification helps communities thrive and creates opportunities for people where they may not have existed before. We’re ensuring that communities are driving their economic future while helping workers to develop the skills they need to find and create new opportunities right in their own backyard,” said Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages.

The Canadian Institute for Safety, Wellness & Performance works to improve the safety, wellness and performance of the Canadian labour force by generating knowledge, transferring research to practice, and strengthening workforce development - all in collaboration with stakeholders.

For more information, contact CISWP at