SCRO Advocates for an East End Trades Training Centre in Scarborough
By Jennifer McKelvie
On April 28, 2018, the SCRO held the community summit “Building a Vision for Scarborough” in partnership with the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC). This summit brought together 107 engaged Scarborough residents from 18 community associations, as well as students from the UTSC. Throughout the morning, participants heard excellent talks from leaders of Scarborough’s anchor institutions, including UTSC, Scarborough & Rouge Hospital (SRH) and Toronto Region & Conservation Authority (TRCA), about their vision for Scarborough.
In the afternoon, Hardy Stevenson & Associates Limited facilitated a visioning exercise to identify our third ask for Mayor John Tory. This follows on our previous two requests. In 2016, we submitted our first ask = bringing 3,000 municipal jobs back to Scarborough. This was followed in 2017 with our second ask – $2.5M to fund a feasibility study for a Living Arts Centre in Scarborough. At the summit, many powerful ideas to Renew Scarborough were identified, ultimately converging on our third ask – development of an East End Trades Training Centre to ensure that Scarborough residents are ready for the job opportunities that will accompany planned infrastructure investments. Read our letter to Mayor John Tory about the value of creating the East End Trades Training Centre.
Residents converged on the idea of a development and training centre for the trades that could be developed in partnership with the City of Toronto, local colleges and universities, as well as skilled trades and their unions, trainers and related local employment organizations. Discussions are already underway about such a facility in Scarborough among the UTSC, East Scarborough Storefront, the Canadian Welding Foundation, the Ontario Sewer and Watermain Construction Association, the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development and Councillor Ainslie. A local developer, Goldmanco, has offered the use of a building at 4121 Kingston Rd. for 5 years in which to prototype the concept.
Residents recognize that significant public investment in Scarborough is underway and that It is important that Scarborough residents have the skills and training needed to seize the job opportunities that investment in infrastructure will bring. For this reason, residents identified the need for an East End Trades Training Centre as the priority to champion at yesterday’s event. Locating this institution in Scarborough will ensure the training is where the jobs will be, and that residents will not need to travel long distances to go to school. An East End Trades Training Centre will allow Scarborough to become a more complete community where residents can train, work, live and play.