Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers


Changing livesOne step at a time

The Hammer Heads Program was created by the Central Ontario Building Trades (COBT) in 2009 to support at-risk youth. It's a skill and employment-based training program within the construction industry offering apprenticeship career opportunities to the youth of under-resourced neighbourhoods in our communities.

Step 1Opportunities

The Hammer Heads Program addresses the needs of under-resourced youth. Many youth face challenges in finding opportunities that will provide them with a clear path to a long-term, life changing career. Our program links successful young men and women graduates to a registered apprenticeship opportunity in the construction industry that might otherwise be difficult for them to access.

Step 2Motivation

Our goal at Hammer Heads is to support our participants in finding an effective way of overcoming the hurdles they face in achieving meaningful employment. Motivation is inspired by our diverse training curriculum and the peer-to-peer support of our past graduates. Our 12 week process prepares participants for the journey ahead. Becoming a skilled tradesperson requires dedication and desire. Employers want job-ready workers and Hammer Heads can deliver quality workers who make a significant contribution and immediate impact on the job.

Step 3Overcoming obstacles

Hammer Heads ensures all participants are equipped with the necessary tools to succeed. Everything that our participants require for the program is provided for them, including transportation to our affiliate training centres which are located across the GTA.

Step 4Safety & training

Hammer Heads provides hands-on skills development which enables our participants to acquire new skills specific to the construction industry. Participants learn valuable skill sets which build confidence and promote positive self-awareness. Hammer Heads also strives to create safety awareness by developing trained, competent and job-ready workers with Health & Safety training in the following certifications, far exceeding industry requirements:

  • Mandatory Certification (WHMIS & Fall Protection)
  • Lockout/Tag Out
  • Forklift Training
  • Zoom-Boom & Telehandler Training
  • Scissor Lift Training
  • Articulate Lift Training
  • Standard First Aid/CPR Level C with AED
  • Electrical Hazard Awareness
  • Basic Certification Parts 1 & 2: Joint Health & Safety Rep.
  • Workplace Violence & Harassment
  • Working At Heights
  • Confined Spaces
  • Hoists & Rigging
  • Propane Handling: Storage & Use
  • Fire Extinguisher Awareness Training

Step 5Education

Education is a key component of the construction industry and our goal is to raise the academic standards of our participants to meet the necessary requirements to enter into an apprenticeship upon their graduation. Participants are required to attend night school twice weekly with the focus on obtaining a GED, Grade 12 Diploma or, specifically, a Grade 12 College Math or Physics credit.

Step 6Leadership & mentoring

With consistent mentorship and coaching from Hammer Heads staff, training instructors, tradespersons and program graduates, participants can rely on a strong support network to assist them in achieving success. Bi-weekly one-on-one reviews provide a clear picture of how the participant is performing on a daily basis and specific feedback from Hammer Heads staff results in a tailored approach created to benefit each individual participant.

Step 7Multiple Trades Training

Exposing participants to multiple trades provides them with a broader perspective on the opportunities available within the construction industry. There are many trades our participants have never even heard of before. We link graduates to the most suitable trade for them by considering their education, mechanical aptitude and the feedback received from instructors at our training centres. This contributes significantly to higher completion rates and results in successful long-term careers in construction.

Step 8Registered Apprenticeships

Registered apprenticeships provide a unique life-changing opportunity to learn a skilled trade on the job through hands-on experience while working with experienced journeypersons and earning a Fair Wage. New apprentices become part of the larger sisterhood/brotherhood of the construction industry and are a necessary component in replenishing our workforce.

Step 9Career support

Establishing a professional career by becoming a skilled worker in the construction trades is an empowering and fulfilling accomplishment. To help our graduates make the successful transition into a career in construction, we have developed an integrated, comprehensive support system to connect with graduates and obtain feedback from their employers ensuring consistent progress is being made and maintained. To do this, our staff accompany graduates to their first day of work and continue follow ups through the first, second, third and fourth week and then monthly thereafter for the first full year of their apprenticeship.

Step 10Systemic change

Developing partnerships that create employment opportunities and link under-resourced youth to local registered apprenticeships in our communities ensures systemic change well into the future. To make this achievement possible, all levels of government need to incorporate mandatory, youth-specific contract language into RFPs to guarantee youth will have access to gainful and meaningful employment through registered apprenticeships.

Community Events

Apr 6, 2024

Apr 6, 2024