Community Collaboration

Pathways to Prosperity: A Collaborative Regional Workforce Development Project

Submitted ByPeterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development

Pathways to Prosperity (P2P) was an Employment Ontario Program funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario. This successful collaborative one-year pilot project was led by Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) in partnership with the City of Kawarthas Lakes Economic Development (CKL), Muskoka-Kawartha Employment Services (MKES), Fleming College, and the Workforce Development Board (WDB). This program was developed with the common goal of supporting local employers facing significant labour shortages and was designed to match job seekers with high-demand jobs, supporting local employers to train and retain skilled talent to help close the skills gap. 

Participants received four weeks of skills training followed by a paid job placement. Employers received onboarding training and support to ensure successful placement and incumbent workers were supported with leadership development, career advancement helping to retain and support sustainable employment opportunities. 

The P2P program strengthened established relationships between the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The program leveraged the expertise of Fleming College, utilizing its faculty, access to labs, equipment, and staff to provide training to job seekers and employers. Regional employment services, system service providers, and WDB worked collaboratively with PKED to offer their expertise in workforce development and to aid in marketing endeavors.  

The program also engaged local employers in four, high-demand sectors, including Manufacturing, Construction, Food Service, and Agriculture, to highlight workplace culture and career growth opportunities through video and social media promotion.  

The program’s goal was to encourage entry or re-entry to the workplace for 150 job seekers with barriers or lacking confidence to return to school. P2P surpassed its goal by supporting 52 local businesses and over 370 local job seekers and current employees. 

Through the collaboration long-lasting tools for local employers, service providers, local institutions, and industry associations were developed to encourage career engagement including:  

  • Web pages, display and print materials developed and distributed by PKED and CKL (nearly 10,000 unique page views over the course of the program) highlighting 4 high-demand employment sectors in the region, distributed to career services locally through partners and other outreach. 
  • Social media campaigns, including employer profile videos, success stories, and career ladders, across all partner platforms. Campaigns reached over 252,000 people and received more than 3,800 clicks for a Cost Per Result of $0.66. 
  • Job seeker attraction promotion through 10,000+ printed materials, two Moving Media ads at high traffic areas during the month of September, radio ads with regional radio stations including 400+ ads with MOVE 99.7, 400+ ads with Country 105, and 400+ ads with Bounce FM, and transit ads in 10 City of Peterborough buses and 5 Kawartha Lakes buses from August to January. 
  • Virtual information sessions promoted through partners and hosted by education partners to deliver training to over 300 individuals. 
  • The WDB developed and promoted career ladders for major sectors, demonstrating career growth opportunities starting with the high-demand entry-level jobs available through the program on their website and social media platforms to assist job seekers in finding opportunities to start or advance their careers. PKED supported through the creation of social media graphics and rack cards to be used by WDB and employment services. There were 2,500 of each career ladder rack card printed and distributed. 
  • Transition of the program landing page to the evergreen workforce resources page to consolidate employment support opportunities for local employers