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We are breaking down barriers.

For every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 75 cents. If she’s a woman of colour, she will earn 60 cents.

With the support of our stakeholders and community, we’re breaking down barriers to achieve women’s economic equality. We are dedicated to helping limited income, marginalized groups and individuals overcome barriers to employment.


In-person Employment and Training Services are currently unavailable at 75 MacNab Street South and we have moved all of our employment and training programs online.  Staff are working remotely and are in touch with clients via telephone and webinars.  Our hours remain the same, Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. and we continue to offer both one-to-one and group supports.

To help women entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses during these challenging times, we have expanded out Women’s Enterprise Centre service offerings to now include preparing businesses to operate in our new and expanding digital world.

If you are unsure of what support you need, contact the Manager, Deborah at 905-719-1474 and she will help to direct your call.

YWCA Hamilton Women’s Enterprise Centre supports new and existing businesses with one-on-one coaching, business plan training, mentoring and digital support services.

Helping you settle in Canada.

YWCA Hamilton’s Join Program is a new immigration and settlement program designed specifically for newcomer women, youth and 2SLGBTQ+ youth. The purpose of Join is to help you settle in your community in every way possible.

From employment counseling and job search support to accessing child care and safe spaces, Join addresses all aspects to support your settlement in Hamilton.

Join us to:

  • get settled in your community
  • prepare for work in Canada and find a job
  • meet friends and make connections
  • get counselling and supports
  • find your people and a safe environment

Our YWCA Hamilton staff team are ready to support you!

Our staff team will support you in providing care for your children while you attend our services and will assist with transportation, translation and interpretation services when in-person services resume.

Our staff team can speak the following languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Urdu, Arabic, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian

To participate in the Join Program, participants must:

  1. identify as a woman, 2SLGBTQIA+ or non-binary and;
  2. be a Permanent Resident, Protected Person/Convention Refugee or a Live-in Caregiver: Temporary Foreign Worker with an approved work permit

Uplift Program

YWCA Hamilton’s Uplift Program provides women and non-binary people the opportunity to reskill or upskill in the advanced manufacturing and specialized technology fields through certification training and additional supports related to job development and navigating traditionally male-dominated workplaces.

Participants in the Uplift Program will have access to certification training with a provincially recognized institution. After certification, YWCA Uplift staff will assist participants to achieve better employment and to prepare their job skills through activities such as mock interviews and resume-building.

Who can participate in the Uplift Program:

  • Women (cisgender or transgender) or non-binary
  • Bachelor’s degree, diploma or relevant experience
  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Canadian Language Benchmark levels 7-8

What certification trainings will be offered?

Certification trainings focusing on the advanced manufacturing and specialized technology fields will be offered through this program.
Training fees for participants are covered by FedDev Ontario.

If you have questions about eligibility or require more information, please contact
Shannon Cummings, Senior Manager, Centre for Innovation at

Training Partners:

Funded by:

Government of Canada

Do you enjoy working with your hands? Do you want to work toward a secure career in a promising industry?

Find your future in the skilled trades! YWCA Hamilton is pleased to offer Pre-Apprenticeship programs for Women in Trades.  These programs are offered at no-cost, and provide participants with technical training and job coaching to start their career in the skilled trades.

Commercial Residential Painter Decorator (404C) at Finishing Trades Institute of Ontario
Applications are now being accepted

Location: Training will take place at 1430 Osprey Drive, Ancaster, ON
Date: This is a 23 weeks program starting June 7, 2021

To be eligible for this program, you must be:

Female, non-binary ages 18+
Grade 10 minimum 16 credits
Able to travel to training and work sites

Participants will receive assistance to secure an 8 week placement.

For more information and how to apply please contact Danielle Barranca, Program Coordinator,

General Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Niagara College

What do Machinists do? General Machinists produce parts by interpreting drawings, selecting the most appropriate raw materials and performing calculations. They use a variety of machines and tools to cut shapes. They finish metal to make precision machined parts and components used in all areas of manufacturing.  General Machinists are also responsible for setting up and operating both conventional and numerically controlled metal-cutting machines and equipment, including saws, drills, grinders, lathes and mills.

Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Niagara College

What do Electricians do? Electricians install, maintain, and repairs electrical systems and products used in residential homes, businesses, and factories. Electricians work inside or outside buildings to ensure lights, industrial equipment, and appliances operate safely and reliably.

Successful participants will receive:

Job readiness training
Up to 16 weeks at Niagara College
Assistance with an 8 week placement

To be eligible for these programs, you must be:

Female or non-binary, aged 18 years or older
Canadian citizen or permanent resident (must be legally able to work in Canada)
Must have proof of Grade 12 or equivalent
Must be available full time for the entirety of the program

For more information and how to apply please contact:

For Niagara College-Electrician Program, please contact Rashda Syed, Program Coordinator,

For Niagara College-General Machinist Program, please contact Kristina Wooldridge, Program  Coordinator,

These programs are funded by the Government of Ontario.

YWCA Hamilton is now welcoming Participants and Employers to The Opportunities Program (T.O.P). This program assists persons with self-disclosed disabilities to prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment. It focuses on the needs of each person and seeks to develop skills to improve their employability through one-on-one and group coaching at YWCA Hamilton and work placement through workplace experience.

T.O.P. provides up to 10 weeks of one-on-one and group support for individuals who self-identify with a disability that restricts their ability to find and maintain employment.

A 14 week supported paid work experience placement is available for participants who are seeking full-time, long-term employment.

To be eligible for the program, you must be:

  • A person with a self-disclosed disability
  • Not eligible for EI benefits or related services / programs
  • Legally entitled to work in Ontario; A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Anyone over the age of 16 is welcome to apply

Become a T.O.P. Employer:

  • Receive compensation for providing employment opportunities to people with disabilities.
  • Develop inclusive recruitment strategies to reduce turnover and build employee satisfaction.
  • Build a corporate culture; by building a business that is accessible and inclusive.
  • Work Assessments tailored to business needs.

T.O.P. Employees are trained in job-specific skills that can be tailored to employer requirements.

  • Soft skills include: Communication, Time Management, and Self-Esteem
  • Job-specific requirements include: Health & Safety, W.H.M.I.S., A.O.D.A.,  First Aid/CPR and  Financial Literacy
  • Smart Serve and Safe Food Handling

PROGRAM UPDATE DURING COVID-19: Staff are connecting with clients and employers via telephone, Zoom, email and Facebook.  Anyone interested in joining the program can email:

Anjum Chauhan, Employment Counsellor/ Job Developer,
Evelyn Zaya, Employment Counsellor/Job Developer,

This is a program for young women and non-binary youth aged 15-30 years old

Up to 6 weeks of 1:1 job preparation support and certifications including: Life Skills, Employability Skills, First Aid/CPR, Health and Safety and Smart Serve and Safe Food Handling as appropriate.

Up to 14 weeks paid job placement

Additional support for retaining employment and Occupational Therapy support as required

For more information: contact Deborah Schwientek, Manager, Employment and Training, 905-719-1474 or email

Why include women in the skilled trades workforce?

Well, there is a skills shortage. 

By 2020, the federal government has stated that 319,000 new jobs will be required in the construction sector alone. This shows the need for more skilled workers, and women will help to fill the need.

It’s Good for the Bottom Line

Diversity in the workplace brings together a variety of skills, experience, and expertise to benefit a company. It is important for all levels of an organization to prepare for, understand, and accept change in order to reap the benefits of diversity, and to create a healthy and productive workplace culture.

Having an even gender ratio could increase revenue by roughly 41 percent.

YWCA Hamilton has been at the forefront of promoting the increase of diversifying the workforce by training more women in different skilled trades.

The pathway to the skilled trades and technical  fields for young women is not clearly marked, easily accessible or encouraged.

This project was designed to review best practices and to work with the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board to develop a comprehensive strategy to create an equitable pathway for young women from Grade 9 – 12, to have equal opportunity to enter careers in the technical field and skilled trades as they move through high school and on to post-secondary education.

See final report and toolkit attached.

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Women's Enterprise Centre

YWCA Hamilton Women’s Enterprise Centre supports women entrepreneurs with one-on-one coaching, business plan training and mentoring.

Strategic Training and Employment Program for Youths

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