Summer student jobs and youth resources

Summer student jobs and youth resources

Companies around the Grand Erie region are currently hiring for summer student positions. These companies include Piller’s Fine Foods, Circle Square Ranch, Maple Leaf Foods, Linde Canada and Grand River Employment and Training.

Our Grand Erie Job Board allows youth to search for summer jobs in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit. Currently dozens and dozens of summer student job openings are posted in the area.

Many non-profit community agencies such as Community Addictions and Mental Health Services of Haldimand and Norfolk, Habitat for Humanity, Norfolk Association for Community Living, Alzheimer Society and Lions McInnes House are currently advertising for summer students under a special government program called Canada Summer Jobs. All Canada Summer Jobs are searchable here:

The COVID-19 Pandemic has added unique challenges for youth and their ability to find employment during the past few years. Help is available to youth who lack information about employment programs and job searching tools – and with their summer job hunt.

Educational institutions and area organization such as St. Leonard’s Community Services, Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre (BRC), CareerLink and other regional employment service providers offer various programs and services across our region to not only help young people find a summer job; but for graduating students or for youth not in school – their first full time job and to also help those interested in learning how they can start their own business.

For example, aspiring entrepreneurs ages 15 to 29 years old can apply for the Summer Company Student Grant Program offered through Brantford-Brant Business Resource Centre to students living in the City of Brantford, County of Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk Counties, and Six Nations of the Grand River.

The program lets students take the plunge into business ownership and teaches them how to problem solve, communicate effectively, and the importance of a strong work ethic. Students will also learn all aspects of running a business including how to manage their business finances, marketing and sales, customer service, building and controlling inventory and the behind the scenes work that is required to operate a successful business.

Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 to assist with start-up costs and an additional $1,500 on completion of the program.

Other Local Youth Employment Resources:

Grand Erie District School Board: Home :: Grand Erie District School Board

CareerLink: About :: Career Link

St. Leonard’s Community Services Wrap Program: Youth Employment Skills Strategy – Work Readiness and Advancement Program (WRAP) | St. Leonard’s (

Brant Skills Centre: Brant Skills Centre

G.R.E.A.T: The Student Office – GREAT (

Fanshawe Community Career and Employment Services: Community Career and Employment Services (Simcoe) | Fanshawe College

City School by Mohawk: City School by Mohawk | Mohawk College

Brantford Business Resource Centre: Business Resource Centre – City of Brantford – Economic Development (

First Work: First Work – Ontario’s Youth Employment Network

First Work Aspire Initiative: Home – Youth Aspire

Wilfrid Laurier University LaunchPad: LaunchPad | Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (

Wilfrid Laurier University: Career and Employment Support | Students – Wilfrid Laurier University (

Conestoga College:

Six Nations Polytechnic: Careers | Six Nations Polytechnic ( Job Seeker :: Career Link

Contact North: Welcome to | Contact North |

Canadian Mental Health Association Brant Haldimand Norfolk: CMHA Brant Haldimand Norfolk – Mental Health for All  

Grand Erie Jobs:

Jobless rate drops in Brantford & Norfolk

Jobless rate drops in Brantford & Norfolk

December 2021 employment numbers saw the Brantford area jobless rate drop after a short-term jump the month before.

Brantford’s unemployment rate last month was 7.2%, down from November’s 7.6% but identical to October’s figure, according to results of a Statistics Canada survey conducted Dec. 5 to 11.

November’s unemployment figure had jumped after 500 people joined the labour force, only some of whom found work. The same number of people left the labour force in December, resulting in numbers stabilizing.

In Norfolk, the jobless rate fell over the last 3 months to 7.8%, even though overall employment dipped.

Employment rose by 55,000 across Canada in December, resulting in a drop in the monthly national unemployment rate to 5.9%. Ontario saw the bulk of the job gains and its monthly rate fell to 6% – the lowest since February 2020, pre-pandemic.

“The number of employed people in the Brantford area has been fairly consistent over the last six months,” said Danette Dalton, the Workforce Planning Board’s executive director. “This coincides with a period of stability with the pandemic and few restrictions on businesses.”

Dalton said it will be interesting to see what impact restrictions re-applied in January will have on job numbers. “If we can get the latest pandemic wave under control, affects on the labour force will hopefully be minor and short lived,” she said.

December 2021 employment data shows that full-time employment increased for Brantford residents in the 25 to 44 age group, with the gains shared between men and women. Meanwhile, fewer men and women in the 45+ age group worked in December. Since December 2020, the 45+ age group has seen the largest increase in full time employment.

Employment grew in retail in December, in line with the holiday shopping season. This helped offset a drop in the number of people working in manufacturing, an industry that has seen several months of employment declines.

There were about 2,400 new job postings in December on Grand Erie Jobs, the Workforce Planning Board’s community job board. That was down from about 3,200 in November.

Visit Statistics Canada’s website to read its news release on November 2021 employment in Canada and Ontario.

Happy New Year 2022 from WPBGE

Happy New Year 2022 from WPBGE

From our Board of Directors and staff:

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie wishes everyone a happy and healthy New Year.

The year 2022 starts with a strong sense of déjà vu.

Resilience was a key buzz word last year and it will remain important again this year.

As we come up to 2 years of dealing with a global COVID-19 pandemic, we’ll need to be resilient as our communities continue progress towards a recovery.

Workers and businesses have adapted well to change, again and again, coping with the many ups and downs: lockdowns, new workplace safety rules, working from home, layoffs, and business closures.

Job market rebounds

Despite all the changes and challenges, the local economy and job market largely rebounded in 2021. Overall employment returned later in the year to pre-pandemic levels. Many businesses had trouble filling job openings. Labour shortages are expected to continue this year and beyond.

Some residents and businesses have yet to land firmly back on their feet. They will need additional support moving forward. Fortunately, our communities have lots of services that can help.

The Workforce Planning Board looks forward to continuing to serve the communities of Brantford, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, Brant, Haldimand and Norfolk.

Our goal, as always, is to help individuals, businesses and our communities to thrive. Our vision for this year and for the future is to help build a “skilled, resilient workforce contributing to dynamic communities.”

2021 highlights

During 2021, we’re proud that several important community-building projects moved forward. 

Highlights included:

  • Grand Erie Jobs: We expanded our popular jobs portal. We now have 8 tools to assist local job seekers and businesses. It is now easier for job seekers to find jobs, learn what occupations are in demand, and research businesses. We produced how-to videos demonstrating each of the tools. Visit Grand Erie Jobs and our YouTube channel.
  • Work-Life Balance Study: We heard from 500+ residents about their experiences trying to achieve a balance between their work and home lives. The study has given us insights into issues such as burnout, workplace stress, challenges working from home, and more. Our study contains a number of recommendations to improve things. See highlights from the study.
  • Workforce Strategy: We worked on a strategy that will help give youth the soft and hard skills that are needed for the future of work. The main goals are to educate parents, teachers and youth about local businesses and make them aware of available job opportunities and the skills needed for the future of work. Work continues on implementing this strategy in 2022.
  • Skills2Advance: We trained dozens of residents for new jobs and careers in manufacturing and warehousing, helping meet the strong demand from companies for Material Handlers. It’s satisfying to see Skills2Advance graduates achieving success. Visit Skills2Advance.
  • Marketing: We put extra emphasis on outreach and marketing, so that more people can know about the many resources and services we provide the community. We published stories and social media posts celebrating essential workers and interesting businesses.
  • Job fairs and recruitment: We worked with community partners and businesses on events that helped recruit new people.

We plan on an equally busy 2022.

Workforce Gateway

This month, we will be launching a new online tool called Workforce Gateway. It is a one-stop source for information about workforce, business, education and community services. Users will be able to access information about services near them by answering a few simple questions.

There will be helpful information about dozens of subjects, such as:

  • Where to find an employment counsellor that can help with a job search or career planning
  • Where to find information about government loans and grants to start or grow a businesses
  • Where to find transit routes, schools or daycares in relation to the location of jobs
  • Where to look for financial assistance to help pay for college or university
  • Where individuals and businesses can find information about apprenticeships and skilled trades

We look forward in 2022 to using our expertise and energy to build a stronger community that benefits all.

Gary Beemer: Rewarding career helping people

Gary Beemer: Rewarding career helping people

Gary Beemer built a rewarding career helping people.

The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie interviewed him on his retirement:

I began working for Haldimand Norfolk Health and Social Services in 2011, originally as an Employment Case Manager. After a brief contract at Community Addictions and Mental Health I returned to HNHSS in 2013, once again as a case manager. In 2014, I became the Program Manager for Employment and Community Supports, which is a position I retained until my retirement in July 2021. Prior to being hired by Norfolk County, I was employed by St. Leonard’s Community Services as a Job Developer and Employment Consultant for 4 years. Prior to that I had been employed in automotive dealerships, a health care union, a golf course and a museum. My original full-time work was as a gardener at the Royal Botanical Gardens.

  1. Tell us about the work your organization does – what have been some of the developments, accomplishments and milestones you’ve seen with your team over the years

At Social Services, the Ontario Works staff provide financial resources and supports to vulnerable people, in order help them stabilize their lives to prepare them to re-enter the workforce. When I started at HNHSS, I was part of the employment team. We supported people in finding work, developing skills and training to make themselves employable, and we assisted them with retention once they found work. The retention piece, which was supported by two Career Coaches, was a model that kept our office at the top of employment outcomes in the province for many years. Other offices have copied this idea and added retention personnel to their operations.  Another innovation is the Community Support Worker program which we developed in our office to meet local needs. This program has been very successful in providing supports and advocacy for our most vulnerable clients. These are people who have experienced trauma, addictions and mental health issues. The Community Support Worker team works with these clients to stabilize their issues in order to begin consideration of taking on education, training or employment. The Community Support Worker program remains, as does a Lifeskills Coach, who conducts daily workshops (currently online) to support our clients transition to employment services provided by our local community partners.

  1. What made you pursue your career? What led you to take a job in this community? 

I went to university as a mature student and graduated during a recession in the early 1990’s. While at university, I became very interested in employment issues. While working for a provincial union, I became more and more interested in employment issues. After leaving that position, I began working in the automotive service industry, but it really wasn’t what I was passionate about. I became more and more attuned to employment issues, particularly around automation and precarious employment. I enrolled in the Career Development Practitioner program at Conestoga College and found I really enjoyed employment services, so I applied and was successful at getting a job with St. Leonard’s. I was very intrigued by the employment market in rural communities and since I lived in Caledonia, the position was perfect for me.

  1. What have been the greatest rewards and challenges in your work? What are you most proud of?

The thing I am most proud of is the tremendous people I worked with. My team did and does fantastic work across the board and changed many lives. The fact that I was able to support them in the valuable, life-changing work they did and still do, makes me very proud. There are also many outstanding employees in the Social Services department and it was my pleasure to support them in the tremendous work they do in supporting our most vulnerable citizens.

  1. What are the most important factors in your field as far as supporting clients? What do you see the future of community and employment supports being?

The most important factors in regard to supporting clients, is to listen, be empathetic and address their immediate needs. People who are worried about where they are sleeping tonight aren’t in a position to be job searching – they are just trying to survive. In the current economic situation, many people are in positions they never would have dreamed they would have found themselves in. The future for community supports is to continue to provide life stabilization to those in need. This is primarily in finding safe and secure housing, and to assist people in finding employment that pays enough to take care of their basic needs. What the COVID pandemic has proven is the need for, at the very least, a living wage. Employment supports are getting trickier as I think that COVID has also opened up a lot of opportunities for online work which requires education and skills that a lot of people don’t have. Education and training is going to be more and more important, and I fear that when people leave the community to obtain required skills they may not return, which has been the case for quite some time.

  1. What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing your career? And/or do you have any advice for those currently training for a future career like yours?​

I would tell anyone interested in entering this field to come to in with an open mind. Most people on benefits are not on them because they want to be, but because of some life altering event or trauma. Some people recover quicker than others and it is important to work with them from a place of empathy and kindness, whenever possible. This work is very challenging but can also be very rewarding. One must always remember that the clients are in survival mode and many are overwhelmed, so the progress you make with them sometimes is very minimal, but it is important to support them in their journey, at their pace, not yours. There are many success stories out there and when you have supported someone to become successful, there is no greater feeling.

  1. What continuing role would you like to play in the community going forward?

I’m not sure right now, there are many changes coming on the Social Services front and I would love the opportunity to provide assistance with some elements of that. I think that my life and employment experiences have given me a lot of insights and ideas that could be used in the community, but I have no plans right now.

Local Training and Certification for careers like Gary’s:

Post Secondary education in Social Service Worker, Career Development Practitioner, Social Work, Psychology, Labour Studies.

Job search site had busy 1st year

Job search site had busy 1st year

Job search site Grand Erie Jobs had a busy first year, with 26,000 jobs listed from 5,000 businesses.

The region’s job market saw many ups and downs due to the pandemic during Grand Erie Jobs’ first year, July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, but local businesses were on the lookout for employees throughout the year.

July 2020 saw about 1,700 postings on the job search site, with increased numbers in the following months until postings dipped to 1,200 in December.  Things rebounded steadily in 2021, with June setting a new monthly high for job postings with 2,900. July has maintained that high.

The ups and down show COVID-19’s impact: businesses opening, closing, reopening, re-closing for short stints.

About 5,000 businesses and organizations of all sizes and types in Brantford, Six Nations, New Credit, and the counties of Haldimand, Norfolk and Brant, advertised job openings during Grand Erie Jobs’ first year.

Grand Erie Jobs has become the largest, most comprehensive job search site in the area, and that benefits job seekers and employers.

Top Skills Requested

Many of the top skills employers were looking for involved the ability to work with people and deal with problems: customer service, attention to detail, organization, interpersonal skills, problem solving and time management. Many employers were also looking for management and sales related experience.

Job applicants could improve their hiring chances by demonstrating that they have these skills and experience.

Top jobs advertised by job title on Grand Erie Jobs: Material Handler, General Labourer, General Farm Labourer, Customer Service Representative, Personal Support Worker, Forklift Operator and Sales Associate.

But there were hundreds of different occupations listed, everything from Sales Manager to Pharmacist, University Lecturer, Carpenter, Dental Assistant, Transport Truck Driver and Tax Arrears Collector.

Employers in every sector of the economy, from Construction to Health Care to Manufacturing, were looking to hire at some point.

Top Companies Hiring

The Brant County Healthcare System, which operates Brantford General Hospital and The Willett Urgent Care Centre in Paris, was the No. 1 advertiser of jobs that appeared on Grand Erie Jobs. The hospital system employs more than 2,000 people.

Other top public-sector employers included: Grand Erie District School Board, Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, Norfolk County, Six Nations of the Grand River Elected Band Council, Norfolk General Hospital and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Top private-sectors employers included Lowe’s, VON Canada, Aspire Bakeries (formerly known as ARYZTA), VG Meats and DHL Supply Chain.

Job openings in certain fields were particularly hard to fill. This was true for jobs in agriculture, in industrial and construction trades, and for home support workers.

The large majority of jobs advertised over the last year on Grand Erie Jobs, 86% or better, were full-time, permanent positions. This dispels a commonly heard complaint that employers only want to hire people part-time or on short-term contracts.

Labour Shortage

There are reports from across Canada that there’s a labour shortage as businesses struggle to find people to fill positions.

There are some signs of that in the Grand Erie region. There are also signs that fewer people are using free employment services offered by Employment Ontario agencies.

Some workers are sitting on the sidelines and taking a wait-and-see approach to the job market, due to uncertainty over the pandemic.

In some cases, people are taking a pause while they consider their next moves: Do they want to go back to the same job? Do they want to switch careers? Do they want to go into training or back to school?

Employment Ontario agencies can help people answer these questions.

It is expected that more people will get back into the job market in the Fall, after school resumes. Some residents may be hesitant to commit to a job until they know with more certainty that in-class learning will be available for their children.

When people are ready to get back into the job market, the Grand Erie Jobs will be an essential tool they can use.

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