Hamilton Chamber of Commerce & Mohawk College Launch “Now Hiring Hamilton”, a new initiative to support SMEs with workforce development and retention strategies

· by c.dambrosio@hamiltonchamber.ca

January 25, 2022 – HAMILTON, ON: The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce together with Mohawk College have launched an initiative under an Ontario Labour Market Partnership (OLMP) to support local small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) with workforce development and retention strategies.

The project aims to generate a workforce development and onboarding strategy along with a community asset map scanning the Hamilton SME landscape, their needs, existing resources, and gaps in resources to support SMEs and job seekers alike in a COVID-19 recovery context.

The project ultimately seeks to improve long-term staffing outcomes for SMEs as well as bridge opportunities for job-seekers experiencing an employment gap or experience shortage.

The timeline of the proposal is a three-phased approach set to be completed in April 2022.

Project Details:

The project is currently in Phase 2, developing a workforce strategy that allows SMEs to identify, communicate and initiate an extensive scan of the Hamilton SME landscape to discover their needs, existing resources and any lacking resources. The information on SME training and employee needs has been collected through a series of focus groups and will continue being collected through a joint survey with the Workforce Planning Hamilton & the City of Hamilton Economic Development. Employers can complete the survey at nowhiringhamilton.ca.

Phase 3 of the project will involve the creation of a Community Asset Map that will act as a resource guide based on the findings from Phase 2. The asset map will enable SMEs to access and inform their own human resource planning and development. This final phase will also see the launch of a Knowledge Sharing and Report Event where the results of the project are presented to local stakeholders, SMEs, government representatives and the Hamilton public.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Mohawk College are both well positioned to disseminate the findings of the project, given both organizations’ extensive networks within the business landscape and with employment service partners, postsecondary institutions, government, human service organizations and job seekers. Both the Chamber & Mohawk College work collaboratively to produce high-quality analysis and recommendations stemming from this project and mobilize stakeholders for coordinated action.


“Ontario’s economy is on the rebound as we see a rise in employment opportunities for workers with the right skills and experience,” said Deepak Anand, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development and MPP for Mississauga-Malton. “Our government is proud to support the Now Hiring Hamilton project led by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce to connect employers with the talent they need to grow their business. Through the right partners and the right approaches, we can build up Ontario’s workers, businesses and communities together.”

“Hamilton SMEs are essential to the economic landscape of our community, but these businesses are facing challenges in finding workers with the necessary skills,” says Keanin Loomis, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce. “We’re doing our part to provide resources and training that can help fill these in-demand positions and boost our post-pandemic economic recovery.”

“This partnership with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce will allow us to better understand the untapped workforce needs of local employers and identify any gaps in skills training that need to be addressed,” says Mohawk College President and CEO, Ron J. McKerlie. “Our goal is to provide students with the skills they need to thrive in their careers and to contribute to the success of their employers. This project aims to create a direct pathway from training to meaningful employment.”



An Ontario Labour Market Partnership is a project funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. The OLMP program provides financial assistance to local communities, sector groups, employee/employer associations, and employers in developing and implementing strategies for addressing and responding to local economic (employment) development, labour force adjustments and human resource planning.


Marie Nash, Chief Operating Officer

Danielle Fenton, Project Coordinator

Bill Steinburg, Press Secretary, Public Affairs, Mohawk College
T: 905-575-2408
C: 905-870-3097