Employment and Training


YWCA Hamilton recognizes economic security is an integral component of well-being. Employment Support Services help low-income, marginalized groups and individuals to overcome barriers to employment. Specialized training, assistance and services are available for women, youth and newcomers.

Employment Newsletter:

Click here to read YWCA Hamilton's Employment Newsletter - March 2018

Click to choose selection:

Women's Entrepreneurship Program

The Women's Entreprenuership Program was created due to the generosity of the Allen and Milli Gould Family Foundation. To learn more about Milli's gift, read this article from the Hamilton Spectator. This Women's Entrepreneurship Program assists 21 women who want to start a small business in Hamilton. There are 10 weeks of in-class business training including: marketing, short-term and long-term goal setting, insurance, legal and business plan creation and implementation.     

Included are an additional six weeks of 1-1 support as participants begin to implement their business including assistance with accessing business loans, grants and additional funding sources. There are monthly learn and networking opportunities, where the women can network and learn from other small business owners and learn or refresh additional skills.  

Participants are also provided with a mentor for up to 6 months post program to assist them with additional support in starting and growing their business.  

Call Victoria Bularda at 905-522-9922 ext. 313 or vbularda@ywcahamilton.org

Employment Resource Centre

The YWCA Resource Centre offers a variety of training sessions and skill upgrading opportunities.
Services include:
• Access to Internet and computer
• Access to Fax, Phone, Photocopier
• Job Search information and resources
• Job Leads and Business Directories
• Individual assistance for resume writing and interview coaching
• Job Search Workshops
• Resource Centre Hours:
• Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm

For information and registration, contact (905) 522-9922 ext. 144.

Smart Serve Certification and Food Safety Training

YWCA Hamilton is pleased to offer the BASICS.fst Food Safety Training certification through Traincan Inc. In this training, you will learn about many food safety topics including foodborne illness, potentially hazardous foods, the temperature danger zone, food safety regulations, and how to properly cook, cool, thaw and hold food.

Food Safety Training is currently not available. For more information please contact Erzsebet Gatfalvi at (905) 522-9922 ext. 147 and Neekee Virani at (905) 522-9922 ext. 175.


Smart Serve Training

YWCA offers Smart Serve training: a responsible alcohol beverage service training program developed by Smart Serve Ontario. Smart Serve covers topics such as licences, facts about alcohol, signs of intoxication, and more. This program is for servers, bartenders, door staff, security, or anyone who will be working in areas where alcohol is sold and served under a Liquor Sales License or Special Occasion Permit.

Courses are now being offered. For more information, please contact

Erzsebet Gatfalvi at (905) 522-9922 ext. 147 and Neekee Virani at (905) 522-9922 ext. 175.

SISTER Program:

SISTER (Success in Service Training and Employment Retention) is a free employment program enabling young women to develop and enhance their life and employability skills and make successful transitions into the labour market.

This program includes 4 weeks of paid training and 12 weeks of paid placement. Eligible participants must be between the age of 15 to 30 at the time of intake, legally entitled to work in Canada and Ontario, not in receipt of EI benefits and are in need of assistance to overcome employment barriers

For more information, contact Erzsebet Gatfalvi at 905-522-9922 ext.147


Microlending is a loans program for women with limited incomes who want to start a small business. Our microlending services lnclude assessment for loans, individual business coaching and group learning sessions designed to help women learn how to start and operate a small business, obtain a microloan, and build a positive credit history. This program connects prospective small business owners with business experts and access to available community resources and support.

For more information please call Victoria Bularda at (905) 522-9922 ext. 313.

Women in Information Technology (WIT)

Ready to take that next step and join an interactive intensive 13-week course that aids in skills upgrading and an avenue to showcase your newfound skills in the IT industry?

The Women in Information Technology (WIT) Program is a no cost employment program open to eligible women facing multiple barriers to skills upgrading, industry certifications and access to employment in the IT sector. Participants will invest in 13 weeks of in-class training in web development and personal skills expansion.
This course includes:
  • Industry Certification – CIW Web Design Specialist
  • Academic training in web design and development certification at Mohawk College
  • Personal skills development, leadership training and job search support with assistance in resume writing, cover letter preparation and interview skills. 
  • 12 weeks work experience/job placement as a web developer


  • Education, experience or strong interest in web design and the IT industry
  • Legally entitled to work in Canada
  • A Canadian Language Benchmark of 7 and above or College Level English
  • Are looking for a Web Developer job
  • Face barriers to access employment in the IT sector

For more information or to register for this program please contact Lisa Lehmann at (905) 522-9922 ext. 150 or at LLehmann@ywcahamilton.org

Advancing Women in Non-Traditional Occupations

This three year project focuses on the recruitment and retention of women in technology and manufacturing trades in Hamilton. We are currently recruiting women trained or currently employed in the skilled trades to participate in focus groups and surveys.

For more information, please contact Maisie Raymond-Brown, Director of Employment and Training Services at (905) 522-9922 ext. 151 or at mrbrown@ywcahamilton.org 

The Opportunities Program

YWCA Hamilton is now welcoming participants and employers to The Opportunities Program (T.O.P). This new program assists persons with disabilities to prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. It will focus on the needs of each person to develop skills to improve their employability through one-on-one coaching and support at YWCA Hamilton and work placement through workplace experience. 
  • T.O.P. provides up to 6 weeks of one-on-one support for any individuals who self-identify as having a permanent physical or mental impairment that restricts their ability to perform daily activities.
  • A 14-week supported paid work experience placement is available for participants who are seeking full-time, long-term employment.
To be eligible for the program, you must be: 
  • A person with a disability
  • Legally entitled to work in Ontario
  • A Canadian citizen, permanent resident or person who has been granted refugee status in Canada under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act 
Become a T.O.P. Employer:
  • Prepare your business to be accessible
  • Improve employee satisfaction
  • Build inclusive corporate culture
  • Create new customer loyalty 
T.O.P. Employees are trained in:
  • Self-Esteem
  • Time Management
  • Financial Literacy
  • Health & Safety
  • Smart Serve
  • First Aid / CPR
  • and more!
For more information on how to register your business as a T.O.P. employer, please contact:
Lisa Lehmann
(905) 522-9922 ext. 179                                                                                      
Kathryn Wrong
(905) 522-9922 ext. 318

Equitable Pathways to Technical Fields and Skilled Trades Program

YWCA Hamilton is addressing the gender imbalance that currently exists with young women entering high paid non-traditional occupations with our newest program Equitable Pathways to Technical Fields and Skilled Trades.

This program will focus on creating equitable pathways for young women to enter trades and technology fields from high school. YWCA Hamilton hopes to identify barriers for engaging young women in technical fields and skilled trades, and advise educational counselors and teachers in high schools on best practices to assist young women with a positive career choice in these industries. We will be doing this by conducting a literature review of best practices and developing a strategic implementation plan with tested tools, practices and strategies to effectively facilitate young women transitioning from high school into technical fields and skilled trades training and apprenticeship.

By the end of this project, school boards in Hamilton will have implemented an effective gender-based strategy for exposing young women to the technical fields and skilled trades and engaging them in these sectors. 

For more information, please contact:

Banafsheh Rafeh
(905) 522-9922 ext. 335
Kate Belair
(905) 522-9922 ext. 337