HWTC Creates Pathways to Employment & Advancement
From Training to Opportunity
As any urban planner will tell you, getting people to their destination requires more than just laying asphalt.
The Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC) builds on-ramps, avenues, bridges, merge lanes and highways to Hospitality and Food Service careers.
We understand the roadblocks our participants face and provide the free training and support they need to reach their destination: quality jobs.
We partner with Hospitality and Food Service employers to build a talent pipeline, referring graduates to vacant Hospitality and Food Service positions. The partnership benefits the Hospitality and Food Service sectors as well as individuals seeking quality employment.
HWTC also provides free training to Associates already working in the Hospitality and Food Service sectors.
With the support of UNITE HERE Local 75, we offer practical skills training through free courses that help employed individuals advance in their careers and their lives. Examples include computer classes to build their digital literacy skills and helping cooks get their Red Seal designation to increase their opportunities for promotion in the kitchen.
HAWTHORNE FOOD & DRINK
HWTC's social enterprise training restaurant.
Trainees develop in-demand skills in a venue that showcases Ontario's local bounty. After Hawthorne, trainees are connected to cooking, kitchen support, serving and host positions in Toronto's top hotels and institutions.
Hawthorne provides a welcome mat to Toronto eaters and onramps to bright futures for individuals who secure employment in Toronto's best food establishments.
Hospitality & Food Service sectors are thriving
OVERNIGHT VISITORS A YEAR
OF TORONTO'S TOURISM SECTOR WORKERS EMPLOYED FULL-TIME3
OF ONTARIO'S WORKFORCE EMPLOYED IN FOOD SERVICE SECTOR5
PEOPLE WORK IN HOSPITALITY & TOURISM IN TORONTO2
ANTICIPATED DEMAND INCREASE IN HOSPITALITY JOBS IN TORONTO BY 20254
THERE IS EXPECTED TO BE A SHORTAGE OF 61,000+ JOBS IN THE FOOD&BEV SERVICES INDUSTRY6
BUILDING ONRAMPS TO OPPORTUNITY
HWTC participant profiles:
HWTC participant progress:
WITH HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION OR LESS
PREVIOUSLY IN RECEIPT OF ONTARIO WORKS
SECURE JOBS FOLLOWING TRAINING
AVERAGE STARTING WAGE FOR GRADUATES
PREVIOUSLY IN RECEIPT OF ONTARIO DISABILITY SUPPORT PROGRAM
RELEVANT TRAINING FOR IN-DEMAND JOBS
BUILDING SKILLS OF CURRENT HOSPITALITY WORKERS
HOW DO YOU MERGE ONTO A NEW CAREER PATH?
Lucie immigrated to Toronto from Paris with a chance to bring an existing business to Canada. Things fell through and she found herself living in Toronto's shelter system, desperate to get out of what she calls the
"prison of poverty."
When Lucie was accepted into the Hospitality Workers Training Centre's Room Attendant program, she saw it as an "on-ramp" to a new career path:
"I've always been career oriented", Lucie says, "I just needed to get my foot in the door."
Immediately after completing the training, she was hired as a Room Attendant at Novotel Toronto Centre. Lucie says,
"Because of the training, I was able to secure a job and quickly move out of the shelter with my daughter."
Lucie was soon ready to find a Hospitality position that aligned with her skills and interests. She returned to HWTC to take the Guest Services course. It taught her everything from property management software to techniques to exceed guest expectations.
After a few short months, Lucie accepted a position as a Reservation/Switchboard agent at Novotel.
Guests who encounter Lucie on the phone often stop by the Front Desk to meet her in person. Her colleagues tell her this is unusual, but it reflects the connection she forges with guests. Lucie's vision is to eventually move into Hospitality Revenue Management.
"I just stick with it,"" she says,"and I just keep climbing-up, up, up."
HOW DO YOU FIND YOURSELF IN A NEW COUNTRY?
As a teen in his home country of Barbados, André worked hard at being seen as a "tough" kid by skipping school and perfecting bike tricks. In retrospect, André thinks he used this "tough" persona to hide his identity as a gay man.
At 24, André secured refugee status in Canada. He received asylum because his sexual orientation made living in Barbados a risk to his safety.
André heard about HWTC at an information session held for a gay youth support group. During the information session, one thing stood out to him:
"All I heard is you will get work right away," he says. "I was like, sign me up!"
What André didn't realize was that Hospitality suited his physicality and warm personality:
"As soon as I started the training," he says, "I knew I could be happy doing this."
The three-week training program forged André's strong attachment to the Toronto Don Valley Hotel. He loved the hotel's family atmosphere and many of the other Housekeeping staff who were quick to take him under their wing.
"I basically fell in love with this hotel," says André.
Elated when the hotel offered him a Housekeeping position, André promptly accepted. "I'm loving being a houseman," says André, "I support the work of the other Room Attendants in the hotel and I'm always on the move. It's given me a purpose and a future."
Recently, André's partner, Bradley, immigrated from Barbados to join him in Toronto. They've begun a new life in a new country with the benefit of a stable job. André says it's all been "like a miracle," but when meeting him, you can tell it's taken a lot of courage and perseverance to generate all that good luck.
HOW DO YOU BUILD A BRIDGE TO A DREAM?
Leon, who has mild Cerebral Palsy affecting one side of his body, followed his passion for cooking throughout high school. Upon graduating, Leon was accepted into four culinary schools, but couldn't access the funds necessary to support himself or his dream. That didn't stop him from continuing to work toward a career in Culinary Arts.
Leon jumped at the opportunity to be trained as a Kitchen Helper at Hawthorne Food & Drink. When he received the call that he'd been accepted into the program, he was overjoyed:
"I was relieved because I wanted it so badly."
Leon admits that the fast pace of the restaurant was hard to adjust to at first. He persisted with the encouragement of Hawthorne's Chef and staff:
"They push you but don't push you over the edge."
After the Kitchen Helper training, Leon stayed on at Hawthorne for a three month paid contract. The extension helped him build the skills and confidence he needed to prepare for a job in Hospitality.
And the contract paid off.
Soon after his contract ended, Leon was hired as a Kitchen Helper at One King West Hotel and Residence.
He's already planning on using the opportunity to "move up the ladder." For Leon, having a job means having the financial independence to move out of the apartment he rents from his mother and marrying his long-time girlfriend, Kathryn.