Community Collaboration

Talent City Vaughan: Workforce Development Program

Submitted ByCity of Vaughan

Talent City Vaughan is a first-of-its-kind program offered by a Canadian municipality to support workforce development throughout the City of Vaughan. The program provides micro-grants of up to $10,000 to eligible non-profit organizations to host workforce development training for Vaughan residents or employees of Vaughan-based businesses. The program was launched as part of Advantage Vaughan the third phase of the City’s economic development efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The primary aim of the program is to support community-wide upskilling, re-skilling and other job training that provides local talent the opportunity to secure new employment or remain at their current employer. The program also seeks to foster better collaboration between the City, non-profit organizations, and the wider business community as a means to create purpose-driven workforce development opportunities for Vaughan talent. In 2022, Talent City Vaughan disbursed funding to seven social and community service organizations that hosted training programs for more than 140 Vaughan residents. Talent City Vaughan funding represented a spending leverage ratio of approximately 2:1 (for every dollar the City provided, grant recipients spent two dollars to deliver their programs) and total funding disbursed represented a per-participant training cost of nearly $430 per participant. Vaughan residents and employees of Vaughan-based businesses took part in a variety of training programs Participants such as:

  • Business training for interpreters: Residents who live and work in the City of Vaughan received 100 hours of training to become freelance interpreters in the business, healthcare, legal, and medical sectors, and gained the necessary knowledge and skills to operate their own small businesses. This program enabled participants to become self-sufficient and contributing members of Vaughan
  • Understanding Dementia Training: Understanding Dementia & Montessori Approach for Dementia is an innovative approach on how to manage a person with dementia and how to guide them into a quality life of care and recreation. This training increased participants’ job skills and increased further opportunities in long-term care settings.
  • Inspiring Future Filmmakers: A Speaker Series was VFF’s very first in-person seminar series, focused on inspiring the future generation of filmmakers. Three seminars were presented over two Sundays this Fall, each exploring a range of topics with speakers directly immersed in the industry. The topics covered were directing actors, sound editing, and picture editing. The seminars included guided Q&A’s with the speakers. breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.

Of the more than 140 residents who took part in Talent City Vaughan training programs, nearly 100 participants provided feedback and demographic information through program surveys.  Key learnings from the surveys identified the average age of participants to be 33 years of age with the youngest participant being 15 years of age and the oldest being 82 years of age. Two in three participants self-identified as women (66 per cent), and one in four participants self-identified as youth (25 per cent). Most participants had some form of higher education with 41 per cent holding a bachelor’s degree and 25 per cent holding a college diploma.  Most residents that participated in training programs (52 per cent) did so to advance their careers, and 26 per cent noted their participation was based on learning new skills to gain new employment.

Talent City Vaughan is currently in its second year with nine organizations selected to host training programs for more than 230 residents or employees of Vaughan-based businesses. Learn more about this year’s program: