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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 low-income, marginalized groups and individuals overcome barriers to employment.

PROGRAM UPDATE DURING COVID-19: In-person Employment and Training Services are currently unavailable at 75 MacNab Street South.  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.  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.

This project will address barriers in the secondary school systems in Hamilton to the representation of women in the trades and technology sectors. In collaboration with the local school boards, project staff will:

  • Conduct a gender based analysis of current practices and curricula to identify best practices for engaging young women in technical fields and skilled trades.
  • Develop an Implementation Plan and formal strategy focussing on engaging young women, educators and parents to address identified issues through the implementation of curricula changes and the development of teaching tools.
  • Utilize the strategy developed to guide an on-going review and assessment of the project.

For more information contact:

905-522-9922 ext. 144 

The YWCA Resource Centre offers a variety of training sessions and opportunities for upgrading skills in the following areas:

  • Financial Literacy
  • Smart Serve
  • Safe Food Handlers
  • MS Office Training
  • Résumé Writing and Interview Preparation
  • Career Cruising
  • Job Search Workshops

Services include:

  • Access to Fax, Phone, Printer
  • Job Search information and resources
  • Job Leads and Business Directories
  • Individual assistance for résumé writing and interview coaching

For information and registration, contact 905-522-9922 ext. 144

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 Erzsebet Gatfalvi at:  905-522-9922 ext 318 or Neekee Virani at: 905-522-9922 ext 179

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 a Pre-Apprenticeship Program for Women in Trades!

We are offering the following programs out of Hamilton and Niagara:

·         General Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Niagara College

·         General Machinist Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Mohawk College

·         Electrician Pre-Apprenticeship Program in affiliation with Mohawk College

These Pre-Apprenticeship Programs are offered at no-cost, and provide participants with technical training and job coaching to start their career in the skilled trades.

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.

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 Mohawk or Niagara College

·         8-week placement

Entry requirements for the program are that individuals must be:

1.      Female or non-binary, aged 18 years or older

2.      Canadian citizen or permanent resident (must be legally able to work in Canada)

3.      Must have proof of Grade 12 or equivalent

4.      Must be available full time for the entirety of the program

Contact the following to apply:

Kelley Evans: Pre-Apprenticeship Program Coordinator General Machinist, Niagara |

Courtney Falardeau: Pre-Apprenticeship Program Coordinator General Machinist, Hamilton |

Evelyn Zaya: Pre-Apprenticeship Program Coordinator Electrician, Hamilton |

YWCA Hamilton Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) provides a 16 week start-up program for entrepreneurs with little to no business experience, as well support for existing businesses who need assistance to grow. The program will include 10 weeks of peer-supported in-class sessions and up to 6 weeks of mentorship relevant to businesses entered in this program. Small business owners will be set-up for success by creating a detailed business plan, investigating creditable funding opportunities and be provided with networking opportunities all over Southern Ontario. By the end of the program, small business owners will be able to present their businesses to stakeholders interested in investing in small businesses.

Program Overview:

  • 10 Weeks of training sessions, twice per week
  • Weekly 1:1 sessions with a business coach
  • Monthly networking events
  • Small business networking opportunities
  • Access to funding sources and grants

The next session of the program will start in September.

To receive future program updates please subscribe to our email list.

For more information: Shannon Cummings, Manager, Women’s Enterprise Centre at

PROGRAM UPDATE DURING COVID-19: There are no in-person workshops at this time.  Workshops are being held through WebEx and clients are being contacted over the phone.

This program is funded federally by the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

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

Settlement and Integration Program designed for newcomer women, youth and 2SLGBTQ+ youth that address specific needs and offers information and skills that support their successful integration into the local Hamilton community.

Program activities will include violence against women prevention, employment training, female youth information sessions, volunteer support services for newcomer mothers and 2SLGBTQ+ youth support program.

Advancing Women in Skilled Trades

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 not only the increase of diversifying the workforce by training more women in skilled trades, but by educating girls on the benefits of working in skilled trades through our Equitable Pathways Program in partnership with both the HWDSB and HWCDSB. And we’re working to educate employers on how to shift workplace culture to be more inclusive of women. Read more about how to include women and girls in skilled trades by visiting our Advancing Women in Skilled Trades website.

The Women's Enterprise Centre logo with a light bulb icon above it

Women's Enterprise Centre

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

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