Toronto – March 19, 2021. ACCES Employment, with more than 35 years of success in connecting diverse jobseekers to employment opportunities, is launching a program to help support newcomers to find work in the skilled trades. The program will be based in Newmarket and will also support jobseekers in York region and surrounding areas. The Trade Connections Program, funded by the Government of Canada’s Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness (STAR) Program, responds to current and future employer skill shortages in the construction industry.


The new project is receiving an investment of $1.9M over three years from the Government of Canada, under the STAR Program, which has been created to encourage Canadians—including those who face barriers, such as women, Indigenous people, racialized persons, newcomers, people with disabilities and youth—to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.


ACCES Employment’s Trades Connections program, delivered in partnership with the Ontario Masonry Training Centre (OMTC), will provide newcomer and racialized minorities participants with streamlined access to employment and apprenticeship opportunities in the skilled trades industry. Participants will benefit from customized construction trades training curriculum that will include hands-on and online training, orientation to trades career pathways and apprenticeships specific to construction, industry-specific skills training and certifications, soft skills solution training and industry relevant certifications (WHIMIS, Working at heights, Forklift, Elevated Work Platform and Propane Handling). The project also offers support for on-boarding, retention and inter-cultural training for industry employers, unions and stakeholders hiring program participants.


The Trades Connections program, and other ACCES programs and services, will support the economic recovery of all Canadians, especially those disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.


“As Canada recovers from COVID-19, the demand for skilled tradespeople will remain strong. In order to build back better, the Government of Canada is investing in this project with ACCES to provide newcomers and racialized minorities with the supports needed to pursue quality, good-paying careers in the skills trades.”

—Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion, Carla Qualtrough


“Through our new location in Newmarket and through this funding from the Government of Canada, ACCES is able to build on our successful Trades Connections program and create career pathways in an industry that is in need of skilled labour. In collaboration with employers, the government and local partners, ACCES looks forward to contributing to our collective economic recovery from COVID-19.”

—Allison Pond, President and CEO, ACCES Employment.


The Trades Connections program will be delivered in York Region with additional activity in Scarborough, North York and Peel.

For more information on Trades Connections at ACCES, visit



About ACCES Employment

ACCES Employment is a leader in connecting jobseekers from diverse backgrounds with employers in roles that reflect their qualifications and experience. Nearly 40,000 job seekers are served annually at 7 locations across the Greater Toronto Area and virtually through our online services. As a not-for-profit organization, ACCES receives funding from all levels of government, corporate sponsors, various supporters and the United Way Greater Toronto. For more information about services and programs at ACCES, please visit


For more information, please contact:

Jody Yvonne
Director, Communications
ACCES Employment
[email protected]