Simcoe/Norfolk Campus offers job seekers free path to employment


Fanshawe’s Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus is accepting applications for a free 12-week online training program and paid placement designed to prepare job seekers for entry-level hospitality positions with retirement homes in the Norfolk, Haldimand, Brant and Hamilton regions.

The program, funded by the province’s SkillsAdvance Ontario pilot project, will offer 54 unemployed/underemployed applicants a mix of sector-specific technical and soft skills required to work in the dining room or kitchen of a retirement home or long-term care facility. A two-week paid job placement with participating retirement homes will follow, allowing students to apply their skills and gain valuable on-the-job experience.

Financial supports are available for those who are eligible, which may cover the cost of uniforms, transportation and childcare. Participants will also receive pre- and post-employment support services to help them secure and maintain employment.

“We look forward to the opportunity to unlock the potential of the communities we serve by developing a pool of job-ready, skilled workers and connecting them with employer partners in the retirement and long-term care sector with identified vacancies,” says Krista Zilkey, manager of Continuing Education and Training Services at Fanshawe’s Simcoe/Norfolk Regional Campus.

Cathy Hecimovich, Chief Executive Officer at the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA), which represents more than 90 per cent of all licensed retirement community suites in Ontario, highlights the opportunities to develop an exciting, rewarding career in Ontario’s retirement community sector.

“ORCA is thrilled to work with Fanshawe and provide job-seekers exposure to the wide variety of hospitality roles available in retirement communities,” says Hecimovich. “In addition to great benefits and flexible hours, retirement communities offer the chance to join a caring, dedicated staff team that is actively making a difference in the lives of their residents, every day. We look forward to welcoming the program participants to our sector.”

Participants will receive industry-recognized certifications in health and safety (e.g., WHMIS, AODA, etc.), Food Handler’s, Smart Serve, First Aid/CPR and Excellence in Customer Service, as well as a certificate of completion from Fanshawe College for the sector specific workshops.

All course materials, workshops, presentations, videos and discussions will be delivered online, weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Those looking for additional information, or to register for one of three start dates (February 22, May 10 and June 28, 2021), should visit or contact Fanshawe Community Career and Employment Services at 519-428-1135 x0.

SkillsAdvance Ontario supports workforce development in key growth sectors by funding partnerships to connect employers with the employment and training services required to recruit and advance workers with the essential, technical and employability skills.

For more information, please visit Fanshawe's media contact page.