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90 per cent of first H.E.A.T. graduates land jobs

Celebrating the first class of Helping Employers Acquire Talent (H.E.A.T.) graduates were Todd Goodmurphy, Barry Brown, Job Coach Susan Scott, Everett Kelly, Gary Ruttan, Jordan Loveday and Job Coach Jimmy Corey; Scott Whitelock, Cheryl McLellan, Patti Kelly, Facilitator Barb Miller, Therese Hyland and Paula Noffke.

The first class of Helping Employers Acquire Talent (H.E.A.T.) training has graduated and is now equipped to work in the tourism and hospitality industry in Prince Edward County.

After 10 days of training, 90 per cent of the participants landed jobs in the sector. The success of the new program was celebrated recently at a small graduation ceremony in the H.E.A.T. classroom in Picton’s Armoury Mall.

“There are jobs out there that need extra training for people, so a lot of people need these skills for a specific job. They also need to know about the County so they can be a good ambassador, said Councillor Barry Turpin, on behalf of Mayor Robert Quaiff. “I’d like to congratulate the graduates and also congratulate the staff and everyone who has contributed to this program because this is the kind of thing that needs to move forward.”

Participants received Tourism Ambassador Training, where they toured some of the County’s main attractions. The group also received certification in Smart Serve, Safe Food Handlers and Service Excellence training, mock interviews, inspirational speakers and much more.

“The entire group was extremely enthusiastic and motivated to learn new skills. I am so proud of this group and truly feel that everyone has thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Barb Miller, H.E.A.T. Facilitator.

Participants of the program had positive feedback. The group ranged in age, skills and interests.

One of the older participants said “I know now that you can teach old dogs new tricks!”

Another participant said they enjoyed learning new things in the last two weeks and hoped to see the program continue.

Others commented on how helpful the certifications were to get into the industry, and others remarked upon great faculty including facilitator, Barb Miller and the job coaches, Jimmy Corey and Susan Scott.

Katy Mitchell, Career Edge Employment Services Co-ordinator and program lead, also congratulated several key players in the program.

“As the ‘A team’ famously put it – I love it when a plan comes together. That is what today represents for me, for us. Months of planning, working and with the faith and trust that the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities has given us, along with the funding, we were able to test this plan out and see if this baby could fly,” said Mitchell.

“Thank you to our partners in the County Workforce Partnership– the County of Prince Edward, Prince Edward Learning Centre and the Chamber of Commerce. They have been a part of the planning every step of the way,” Mitchell said. “Thank you to our funder, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU), for supporting this project and to the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC) who have provided the training materials and resources.”

She noted OTEC has also invited the program into a wider network across the province “of like-minded organizations who see a sector-based approach to workforce development as one with seemingly infinite potential.”

“On Neil Ellis’ behalf and on behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to say congratulations to this first cohort of H.E.A.T. program graduates, and congratulations to the entire County Workforce Partnership. This is such a unique concept and you’ve really done a great thing for the community. It’s just up and up from here,” said Melissa Davis representative for MP Neil Ellis.

The next group of new H.E.A.T. participants starts training on Nov. 19 and graduates Dec. 3. For details, contact Barb Miller, H.E.A.T. Facilitator at barbm@careeredge.on.ca or at 613-885-6115.

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