Workforce Webisodes

Simcoe Muskoka Workforce Development Board is producing a series of “Workforce Webisodes” streamed live on our YouTube channel. These webisodes will be timely information sessions that will cover a variety of useful topics for employers.


The webisodes will be short and to the point: fifteen to twenty minutes packed with important workforce information. Viewers of the live presentations will be able to interact and post questions for our visiting experts in real time. Every webisode will be archived and available for viewing after broadcast on our YouTube channel:


PSW Marketing Ladder Road Show

Six PSW career fair events were held in Muskoka and Simcoe County communities; Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Orillia, Midland, Collingwood and Barrie. A number of employers in long-term care and community care attended as exhibitors to talk to attendees about the many career path options available to trained PSW's. Representatives from the Simcoe County District School Board and Georgian College offered career training options. Our literacy upgrading partners and employment service providers were also on hand to offer visitors options that would directly enhance their ability to pursue this career in health care. 

The attendee satisfaction index was 94% with positive comments about the range of employers attending and the options made available to them. Exhibitors expressed the view that a very good range of community partners were engaged in the project. 

We completed two video interviews with PSW's, available here: and  A short video documentary is also in production with links to follow.

Barriers to Employment Workshop


This workshop will feature morning and afternoon sessions.  In the morning speakers along with round table discussions around innovation and disabilities.  Topics may include federal definitions on OW and ODSP earnings allowed, CICE, person with criminal records, working with millennials, diverse personality types, older workers, cultural differences, mental health and cannabis. The afternoon session will provide employers and ESP information on how to tap into ex military that are transitioning to civilian workforce.

Soft Skills Solutions© 

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.

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.    

Virtual Job Fair 


In partnership with a team of recent Computer Programming graduates from Georgian College, SMWDB is developing a complete, self-contained online platform that will allow companies or organizations to hold online job fair events. The platform will allow employers to post jobs and accept resumes, cover letters and inquiries from applicants during live events. Job seekers will be able to review and apply for available jobs posted. There will be a two-way chat function that will allow employers and job-seekers to communicate in real time to conduct a text-based interview, obtain more information, or to set up an in-person follow-up meeting.

Data collected from each event will inform SMWDB on a range of employment areas: the number and types of employers who participate; geographic location of both the employers and job seekers; overall utility and acceptance of a digital job fair model which will drive future expansion and targeting of the platform.

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

Rob Shepard

SMWDB Project Facilitator