DUKE Heights’ Sector Management Strategy has set out to work directly with businesses to learn about their in-demand jobs and to develop an intuitive career pathway that attracts the right resource at the right stage of their career. This strategy, along with DUKE Heights’ other employment initiatives (e.g., DUKE Student Placements [ADD URL to WEB PAGE] and DUKE Law [ADD URL to WEB PAGE]), is the first of its kind to be developed and disseminated through a Business Improvement Area (BIA). To fulfill the aim of this strategy, DUKE Heights BIA (DHBIA) has developed strategic partnerships with various workforce development stakeholders such as York University, Seneca College, JVS, YES and Skills for Change.
The goal for this strategy is to bring together common job roles and positions within a single sector to develop career pathway templates. Drawing from DUKE’s five sectors: Food, Furniture, Pharmaceuticals, Health and Professionals, DHBIA’s two-year workforce development pilot, made possible by the generous support of the Metcalf Foundation, will begin with the food and furniture manufacturing sectors. Following the leadership of a dedicated Sector Management Coordinator, DUKE Heights’ Sector Management Strategy will lead to the adoption of more sustainable human resources practices and labour standards, particularly with concern for the hiring and training of low-income individuals in the surrounding community.
Businesses in the food and furniture manufacturing sectors who are looking to improve their current and future workforce are invited to join one of our sector-specific advisory groups that bring together other businesses in the BIA to discuss the current workforce demands in their sector. As members of the group, businesses will have access to a team of workforce stakeholders who will work together to develop company specific competency frameworks and pathways for future and current employees. This includes access to relevant training programs that work alongside a company’s business cycle and adjust to fit shorter timelines in response to current demand.
Whether it be an apprenticeship program, college or university, DHBIA works with all forms of training programs to tap into existing offerings relevant to the food and furniture sector. This includes working with BIA businesses to develop customized programs whenever and wherever the need presents itself.
DHBIA welcomes employment agencies in and around the BIA to join the sector advisory groups for food and furniture to lend their expertise around attracting, training, and retaining new hires.
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