Media Release: Community Partnerships Help Attain Skills to Retain Jobs in the Food Industry

HAMILTON, February 2, 2023 – Community Living Hamilton (CLH), City School by Mohawk College and the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board are combining efforts to help people with developmental disabilities attain the skills and qualifications needed to successfully find and retain jobs in the food service industry. Working together under the Feed the Community program, partners provide customized training solutions to offer a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between participants and employers.

The program has been running since the spring of 2022 and has successfully prepared participants for a new chapter in their lives.

“Our government is on a mission to help people find meaningful work close to home, earn bigger paycheques and lead purpose-driven lives,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Through funding programs like Feed the Community we’re giving people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to gain crucial life skills and helping them find jobs in the food service industry that they can be proud of.”

Supported by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development, the Feed the Community program is designed to help individuals with developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and Autism to grow their skills in customer service, communication, problem solving, and professionalism. In-class learning is combined with hands-on experience through a two-week paid placement. “As someone that never finishes what I start, I am proud to complete this program and earn my credentials. With the encouragement of the staff, I was able to realize my potential and I am ready to make a difference in the community” says Dawn Fraser, participant.

“We have seen the increasing development of the participants’ self-confidence and personal well-being by the end of each course. Helping them to realize their potential within the community is a rewarding experience,” says Jim Vanderveken, Dean of the Centre for Community Partnerships & Experiential Learning at Mohawk College.

To learn more about the program, contact Lorne Johnson, Manager of Employment Services, Community Living Hamilton at or by phone at 905-975-1198.

This Employment Ontario project is funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario.


Media Contact:
Sylvia D’Intino
Executive Director
905-528-0281, ext. 243

ABOUT COMMUNITY LIVING HAMILTON – Community Living Hamilton (CLH) is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities build great lives. It provides opportunities and support to 1,600 adults and children with diverse abilities across the Hamilton region. With 320 employees and 120 volunteers, CLH is the region’s largest service provider for individuals with developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome and Autism. The agency assists the people it supports by empowering them to reach their full potential. Whether it’s living independently or in a group setting, working in competitive employment, or sharing in community activities, CLH helps its clients achieve their goals and dreams.