Hamilton Chamber of Commerce to Government: Get Employer-Driven Training Programs Right
Hamilton, ON, September 08, 2014: The Government of Ontario must ensure that upcoming changes to the province’s training and employment programs reflect the needs of employers, according to a new report released by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Essential Skills Ontario.
The call comes as the government works to reinvent the way that many training and employment programs are delivered in the province by giving employers a more direct role in the type of training their workers receive. The bulk of these programs will be supported through the Canada-Ontario Job Grant, which will cover two-thirds of the cost of training a current or prospective worker, with government chipping in up to $10,000.
“By encouraging businesses to invest more in their employees, these new employer-driven programs could be an important step toward improving Ontario’s economic competitiveness,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they’ll only succeed if they are designed with the needs of employers in mind.”
The report, Moving Forward Together, makes the case that programs should be easy to access for employers. “We recognize that measures are required to maintain the integrity of these programs and minimize fraud,” adds O’Dette. “But government needs to be conscious that onerous red tape and paperwork will only deter employers from participating in the program.”
It also calls on government to foster collaboration among companies in the design of training programs to minimize the risk of poaching and to lower the costs associated with training. This will require government to develop a close relationship with sector associations that are already providing workforce training.
In addition, the report drives home the importance of increasing engagement between government and the business community as most employers are unaware of current training and employment provisions available to them.
“Hamilton has one of the most diverse economies in Canada according to the Conference Board. This diversity means our community has additional potential to take advantage of a well-designed program.” says Keanin Loomis, President & CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
“We particularly agree with the report’s recommendations concerning the additional concessions that must be create to incentivize small and medium enterprises that form the bulk of Hamilton’s economy. These sentiments were echoed during our member consultation process as well” adds Loomis.
Moving Forward Together: An Employer Perspective on the Design of Skills Training Programs in Ontario is based on extensive consultations with employers and training providers from across the province. Read the report: http://goo.gl/KBJKEc. Download the report Moving Forward Together in PDF format.
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For more information, please contact:
Huzaifa Saeed, Policy & Research Analyst
C: 905-220-3030 | T: 905-522-1151 ext: 230 | E:
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce weighs in on legacy of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan American Games
HAMILTON, ON, August 27, 2014: A new report from the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce identifies the crucial steps that governments and the private sector must take in order to ensure that the 2015 Toronto Pan Am and Parapan American Games leave a positive, lasting economic legacy in Hamilton and the province.
“As hosts for the Pan Am Soccer tournament, Hamilton will be getting a significant influx of a global fan base and subsequent economic activity, especially near neighbourhoods of the city like Barton-Tiffany and James North that are on the cusp of major revitalization” says Keanin Loomis, President of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
In less than a year, the Games will come to a close. If projections are accurate, they will bring 250,000 visitors to Ontario, generate $3.7 billion in new economic activity, and result in an expected 26,000 new jobs. While the Games are likely to provide a short-term boon to our economy, the lasting impact is much less clear.
According to the report, Beyond the Finish Line, Ontario needs to follow the lead of other major sporting event hosts and market itself more prominently to potential visitors from abroad.
“The Games have the potential to attract as many as hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the Americas,” says Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce. “But they won’t arrive unsolicited - we need to step up our marketing game abroad.”
The report also highlights the need to make sure that government’s traffic reduction targets for the Games do not slow the movement of goods in the province by ensnaring transport trucks in gridlock. Congestion already costs the GTHA $6 billion in lost productivity annually. Observers anticipate that congestion in the region will worsen during the Games, partially as a result of the government’s ambitious 20 percent traffic reduction target.
The business group also urges Ontario businesses to leverage the unique opportunity presented by the Games to establish deeper relationships with their Latin American counterparts. Ontario's exports to the region account for only 2.1 percent of Ontario's exports. The group applauds the Government of Ontario for spearheading the Toronto Pan American Economic Summit, a three day conference that will bring together 1,500 business leaders from across the Americas.
“The Chamber is already collaborating with the City of Hamilton on its emerging Foreign Direct Investment Strategy and is fully committed to ensuring we put our best foot forward as a city for the games next year” adds Keanin Loomis, President.
Learn more by reading Beyond the Finish Line: Ensuring a Successful Legacy for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Games. Click here to download.
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For more information contact:
Policy & Research Analyst
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
T: 905-522-1151 ext: 230
2014 Finalists Announced
10 companies have been selected as finalists for LiON’S LAIR, a competition that offers finalists the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of industry judges—the “Lions”—and solicit over $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources.
“LiON’S LAIR is a fantastic opportunity for Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce to work closely with high-potential companies and reward them for their efforts in entrepreneurship,” stated Keanin Loomis, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
Hopeful participants submitted their business plans in April and each plan was evaluated based on the company’s product and commercial viability, ability to execute, and other factors by a panel of independent judges. The judge’s scores were tallied and this year’s top ten finalists are: ASTS, Formarum Inc., The Greenlid, Hangry Solutions Inc., QCumbr, Ranggo, Sound Options, Special Appucations, Tangobits, and VivaCity.
“This year’s LiON’S LAIR finalists offer a fantastic representation of the diverse businesses we see across our ecosystem,” stated Dave Carter, Executive Director of Innovation Factory.“Over the summer we’ll take them through training sessions to strengthen their skills in pitching, developing a compelling narrative, and handling questions and objections; ultimately preparing them to face the Lions.”
This year’s “Lions” are: Carmela Trombetta (RBC Royal Bank), Blair McKeil (McKeil Marine), Mario Paron (KPMG), Jeff Paikin (New Horizon Homes), and Tonia Jahshan (Steeped Tea).
Each finalist will participate in a pitch session with the “Lions” which will include the entrepreneur’s pitch followed by a question period. The “Lions” ultimately decide which companies receive cash and in-kind service investments from participating sponsors.
The pitch sessions will be filmed at Cable 14 and will be shown at the LiON’S LAIR Gala on October 2, 2014 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre. The “Lions’” investment decisions will be revealed live on stage at the Gala.