Conestoga news

July 10, 2017 8:16 AM

Conestoga Career Centre meets workforce needs of local employer

Over the last 18 months, Conestoga’s Career Centre has been working closely with Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc. to accommodate its hiring needs. The company predicts it will require hundreds of additional employees over the next two years to accommodate the implementation of new automation at its current location in Kitchener and a second location in Cambridge that will be operational this summer.

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Local employer Erwin Hymer worked with Conestoga's Corporate Training team to develop a three-week customized training course for its new employees. The training was delivered at Conestoga's Waterloo campus.

“Erwin Hymer is an exemplary employer that believes in skills training and commitment to hiring individuals with a range of skills and experience,” said Sherri Tryon, Career Centre manager. “The new positions they have filled, and plan to fill, will exponentially improve the economic growth in the community and we are pleased to support the company with specialized skills training and job fairs.”

Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc. (EHGNA), formerly Roadtrek, is the leading manufacturer of class B motorhomes in North America, selling motorhomes through a network of independent RV dealers in the U.S., Canada and Japan. Roadtrek, purchased by the Erwin Hymer Group in 2016, has been one of the top selling motorhome brands in North America for more than 40 years. The company is one of 200 regional employers that have accessed the employer services available through Conestoga’s Career Centre locations.

In March 2017, the company hired 20 individuals in the role of new operator through the Career Centre and provided company onboarding prior to in-class training that was funded through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant. The diversity of new hires included youth recruited from the Youth Job Connection Program, older workers, individuals with disabilities and refugees. To ensure success for all trainees, additional supports such as peer to peer support, transition workers and additional literacy assistance were put into place.

EHGNA also collaborated with Conestoga’s Corporate Training team to develop a three-week customized training course covering fundamental skills from numerous trades, including: basic plumbing and HVAC systems, basic cabinet design and construction, government safety regulations and industry standards, electrical fundamentals, electrical and mechanical energy, understanding of materials, tools and safe procedures of basic carpentry tasks, and the safe operation of hand and power tools. The classes were held at the Waterloo campus which provided the trainees access to Conestoga faculty, relevant tools and equipment in a lab setting.

Participants successfully completed the 105-hour course and celebrated their achievements with a graduation presentation. In June 2017, a second group of 25 new hires successfully completed the three-week course and secured positions within both company locations. According to Tryon, EHGNA has confirmed plans to arrange a third training course this Fall, along with a job fair on August 23 at the Waterloo Career Centre located at 285 Weber Street.

Conestoga’s Career Centres provide free resources year-round to the public at the Doon, Waterloo and Stratford campuses. The Centres provide a range of services that include employment and training supports, career and academic advising, labour market information, internationally trained immigrant advising, and hiring and recruitment services for employers.

During 2016 and 2017, Conestoga’s Stratford and Waterloo Career Centres supported the work placement of 400 individuals, with more than $670,000 in financial incentives committed to the training and skill development of new hires. The Centres have also negotiated more than 160 youth employment placements.

For more information, visit the Career Centre