Ontario Processing Vegetable Growers

Director’s Message

Welcome to the Hammer Heads Program.

Hammer Heads was created by the Central Ontario Building Trades (COBT) and our 25 trade union affiliates in 2009. As a community-based initiative, we take pride in giving back to our communities by creating opportunities for those who otherwise might not have access to meaningful employment in the skilled trades. In doing this, we are helping the unionized construction industry develop a more diverse and true reflection of today’s society within our workforce. To date, 90% of our graduates represent non-traditional populations.

Our 12 week comprehensive skills development program was designed to train and place under-resourced and Indigenous youth aged 18 – 26 into registered apprenticeship careers. Incorporating intense Health & Safety training, mandatory academic upgrading, Green training and life skills, our hands-on, “bootcamp” style program exposes youth to a variety of construction trades, ensuring they have the necessary social and professional skills to successfully obtain a rewarding full-time career in construction with a fair wage, benefits and pension.

Hammer Heads introduces our graduates to meaningful careers, not temporary employment. We focus on job retention through our unique post-graduation support based on triangular interaction between the program’s Field Representatives, the graduate and their employer as we monitor our graduates throughout their first year of apprenticeship by accompanying them to work on their first day, then following up at the end of the first day, first week, second week, third week and monthly thereafter. We also focus on supporting graduates throughout their apprenticeships to ensure sustainability, long-term success and apprenticeship completion.

Hammer Heads has been instrumental in dramatically decreasing the demand on social assistance. Program graduates who were formerly dependent upon Ontario Works, the shelter system and other support providers are now tax-contributing citizens.

Our success would not be possible without the generous support of our COBT affiliates and key industry partners who contribute to Hammer Heads. Special thanks goes to B.O.L.T., The Michael "Pinball" Clemons Foundation, One Voice, One Team, Concert Properties, Dickies, Toronto Argos, Toronto FC, Toronto Marlies, Tridel, Workers Health & Safety Centre and the YMCA.


James St. John
Business Manager/Financial Secretary
Director, Hammer Heads

Community Events

Apr 6, 2024

Apr 6, 2024