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PSW Stakeholders Summit

A half-day summit to allow stakeholders to brainstorm ideas that may improve the employment outcomes.


SMWDB S/MLN Awareness Calendar

A calendar, printed and virtual to promote awareness of service organizations for businesses.

SMWDB-S/MLN Essential and Soft Skills Services for Employers


A pilot project to promote awareness to employers on Essential Skills upgrading or the soft skills for their employees to improve function at work and in their personal lives.

COVID Awareness for Small Business 


Provide employers with information to assist them in navigating through COVID protocol/funding.

Muskoka Employment Partnership


Continued support of the 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:

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.  

For more information on Soft Sills Solutions©, contact

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.

FAST is a free tool for employers of the County of Simcoe and the District of Muskoka. 

The cost for organizations outside of the County of Simcoe and the District of Muskoka the fee is a $500/two years.

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

Rob Shepard

SMWDB Project Facilitator

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