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Effective HR Training for New Managers and Nurturing Intrapreneurs In the Workforce

A workforce information session for Service Providers, Chambers, Economic Development offices and RTO to gain more knowledge in HR practices to share with their small and medium business organizations to promote less turnover and better communications and culture.


Poverty Simulation

A poverty simulation event for employers to increase their awareness of effects of poverty on job seekers and employees.

In Demand Employer Summit


Bring together a diverse group of employers to discuss common skilled trades recruitment issues. 

Historical Study of Employee Demographics 


At 5-year intervals on entry level workers. Data may include the cost of housing/rentals; average entry level salary; and demographics. Once compiled presentations across our region would be made to employers.

Muskoka Employment Partnership


The purpose of this initiative is to facilitate a broad industry and community-wide partnership process, which would aim to address a significant lack of job candidates for employment vacancies in Muskoka by developing innovative strategies among a range of stakeholders to achieve the following:

  • Prepare more Muskoka residents further removed from the labour market to qualify for local jobs;

  • Enhance the HR skills of local employers, to improve job retention rates;

  • Introduce Muskoka students to career options in Muskoka, through more experiential learning experiences, in this way making local jobs more appealing to them; and

  • Attract more workers from outside Muskoka to work in Muskoka;


The goal is to create a Muskoka Employment Partnership, led by a steering committee representative of different stakeholders, overseeing several sub-committee working groups, convening an annual Muskoka Employment Summit to enlist supporters and to develop further solutions, all of which would be supported by a small staff complement to facilitate the process.

Legacy Projects


Soft Skills Solutions© 

SMWDB developed and launched the Soft Skills Solutions© program three years ago to meet a need that was originally identified for job seekers in our area. The program is currently 25 to 30 hours in length and divided into five modules; Communications, Teamwork, Personal Management, Problem Solving and Critical Thinking, and Professional Development. More information is available at: https://www.smwdb.com/soft-skills-solutions.

The success of the program has far exceeded our expectations. To date we have trained over 500 facilitators to deliver SSS© to organizations across the province. Based on demand, we are now initiating a modified version of the program for employers who want to train current staff in all five modules. SMWDB has also received requests to create versions for persons with disabilities, Indigenous participants as well as a French-language version. We have had feedback that this program would be an excellent fit (with some modification) for delivery to high school students.

As we move forward, we monitor the program to ensure that the content remains relevant and engaging.   


Additionally, Employer and Train the Trainer for Employers. This is a complementary training to Job Seekers Soft Sills Solutions© training. Marketing will need to be developed and disseminated and Trainers will need to be sourced and trained.  Also niche groups curriculum appendages (Parole Boards, French, High Schools, Post-Secondary Institutes, On-Line, Newcomer, etc) all who have reached out to SMWDB will be added t the SSS© Resource Library. 

Foundational Assessment for Skilled Trades (FAST)

FAST (Foundational Assessment for Skilled Trades: formerly known as Evaluating Academic Readiness for Apprenticeship Training or EARAT).

EARAT was first developed to assist students who wish to pursue apprenticeship training in skilled trades. Each assessment is designed to highlight areas of study where the student may want to strengthen their knowledge and understanding before entering apprenticeship training. Most trades within FAST have assessments in three categories: Communications, Concepts of Science and Math. These assessments, taken with the assistance of school guidance staff or employment counsellors, are intended to increase the success rate for those entering apprenticeship.We have taken the original paper-based content and created an online platform for instructors and students to access. Students can register and take a variety of assessments and see their results immediately. Instructors can follow their registered students, track their results and offer additional assistance when needed.

The new name, FAST, has been introduced as we move this valuable assessment tool to a digital online platform. This makes it more accessible and easier to use for both students and instructors.

Go to www.readyfortrades.ca. for more information on registering as an instructor or student on FAST, or contact: 

Rob Shepard

SMWDB Project Facilitator