HIEC turns 34: ApprenticeSearch.com grows from Halton Region to all of Canada

On November 17, 2023, Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) celebrates 34 years of bringing career development, training, mentorship and job networking to young people in the Halton region.

Over the years, HIEC has seen the demand for its services and programs grow. The Career Awareness Program, including its Career Lab, has remained popular with thousands of students participating in the Career Awareness Program each academic year, and has seen hundreds of thousands of students since it started in 1992. Currently, HIEC is increasing its physical space in Burlington to support more career development opportunities, including a Career Cafe to provide on-site job coaching.

“I’ve been with HIEC for 32 years, ” said Kelly Hoey, Executive Director. “I have seen how HIEC links and connects businesses with young people – all with the goal of inspiring informed career decisions. As helping youth feel optimistic about their future is more important than ever post pandemic.”

A collage of HIEC events, including centre photo of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the Ontario Economic Summit in which HIEC participated.

For 24 years, HIEC has operated ApprenticeSearch.com, a free online service for matching apprentices to employers and, now, the platform receives 2 million site visits a year, with hundreds of new applicants added each week. Last year, it expanded to offer its free online service to youth across Canada looking to enter into the skilled trades.

“Canada urgently needs skilled trades professionals to address key priorities around housing, affordability and the green economy,” said Hoey. “Luckily, we have over 20,000 job seekers across Canada who have registered on ApprenticeSearch.com and put their hand up to identify their interest in pursuing skilled trades careers.” 

Another legacy program will reach a key milestone this year. Celebrating its 20th anniversary on April 4, 2024, Women as Career Coaches (WACC) has empowered more than 10,000 women in the community to date through an evening of inspiring, intergenerational mentorship.

HIEC also now offers job readiness programs such as Gateway to the Trades, along with its mentorship programs and community networking events. 

Growing beyond Halton, HIEC now has relationships with industry, education and community stakeholders across Ontario and Canada, bringing its local model of excellence to all Canadians.

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