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Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre
By Nicole Kovacs, Business Development Coordinator, Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre, London, Ontario

We would like to introduce you to Stephanie, just one of many participants, who, after years of fruitless job searching, was finally able to find meaningful full-time employment through a new training program offered by Pathways.

Pathways Skills Development and Placement Centre is a non-profit agency that specializes in assisting individuals to overcome challenges to meaningful employment. Meaningful employment is the desired outcome for employees and employers. People who are able to grow and adapt to change will contribute to their personal productivity and that of the organizations they serve.

Figure 1The heart of Pathways’ contribution to the humanization of the welfare to-work system is the integration of Client Services. As shown in figures 1, Pathways is able to take clients from Employment Planning, through job search strategies, Community Placement, if needed, on through Employment Placement. Training in WHMIS, First Aid and basic computer literacy is available at each of these steps.

Pathways staff is focused on creating an open and welcoming environment that affirms the value and dignity of each individual. Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre has created a wrap around service to clients through integrated service delivery, community partnership and focused attention to the needs of participants. Integrated service delivery is not only an efficient means of providing services by maximizing economies of scale but also minimizes the distraction and frustration experienced by participants with fragmented service delivery. With the effective use of technology, staff has been able to keep track of participants, identify key windows of opportunity for intervention and follow up.

In October 2004, Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre saw the fruition of six months of research and development, under a CEDTAP grant; culminate in the first offering of the Property Maintenance Training program. Stephanie participated in this eight-week program developed by and for potential employers. The program offers a one-week co-op experience that, for many students like Stephanie, resulted in being offered positions by the sponsoring employer.

The Light Industrial Graduating Class
The Light Industrial Graduating Class
Pathways has recently added a second program, Light Industrial Training, which has fourteen participants active in co-op placements, which hold the same promise as the Property Maintenance program. Together these programs prepare participants with the skills and experience that employers value and seek.

The first two completed training courses have seen 21 people gain employment who formerly met numerous obstacles in their attempts to access the workforce. Stephanie’s story is just one of many that inspires Pathways to drive these training programs further hoping that stories like Stephanie’s will be multiplied.

For more information on any of Pathways’ programs, please contact the Skill Development Team Leader, Sergio Chuy, at (519) 667-7795 or by email at

For more information about Pathways Skill Development and Placement Centre; contact Nicole Kovacs by email at or visit the Pathways Website at


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