Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Projects 2020/21

For the 2020-21 Academic year, the PhD-Community Initiative worked with the City of Kingston on a series of projects related to the priorities of the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Team (KERT).

The City asked: How do we increase the community resilience that is required to support economic and social recovery post-COVID-19? The four key challenges within the community have been identified as:

  1. Many in the community lack the confidence, trust and accurate perceptions of risk necessary to support a vibrant economic recovery.
  2. Community organizations lack the tools to support rapid re-deployment & re-skilling of the workforce displaced as a result of COVID-19.
  3. Those who are vulnerable and marginalized have increased challenges accessing economic opportunity due to the pandemic.
  4. The economic and social recovery from the pandemic will require financial resources beyond the community’s current capacity.

To address these key challenges, the KERT devised the following four priorities, which formed the basis of the PhD-Community Initiative projects for 2020-21.

Priority Key Initiatives
Community confidence & involvement
  1. Communications strategy and campaign - cross sector, including Public Health. Shared messaging; all sectors involved and aligned.
  2. Build processes and systems that provide decision-makers with access to timely and relevant data
  3. Business buy-in to safety regulations to help build confidence in people; Kingston viewed as safe - protected staff and visitors. More communication to businesses about safety protocols
Support the rapid re-deployment & re-skilling of the workforce
  1. Re-skilling training in all sectors, both service sector and consumer is vital.
  2. Pull together employment supports from various employment agencies into one simple, global platform - one stop location for information and job opportunities.
  3. Support program development for hard hit sectors
Ensure those most vulnerable have access to economic opportunity
  1. Research and gather the info:  Develop strategies to get feedback from and communicate with worker groups that we don't traditionally hear from to understand better what supports will be most effective.
  2. Design programs to provide access to employment for those in vulnerable groups.  Finding additional sources of funding to create more programs to help those most impacted by COVID
  3. Promote diversity and inclusion in workplaces, including identifying resources to address and overcome biases and refine hiring criteria, systems and processes e.g. hiring committees
  4. Identify who is 'underrepresented' and prioritize which groups and individuals are underrepresented and need access to economic opportunity, ie sustainable employment
Increase advocacy and sourcing of the necessary financial resources
  1. Increase and Coordinate Advocacy: We need more engagement with our Provincial and Federal representatives.
  2. Understand what businesses need, ie extend wage subsidies into next year; what extra funds are out there that's not included in gov't programs

View the PhD-Community Initiative Virtual Capstone Event where each Team presented their results.


You may wish to also see examples of past projects and listen to the video reports on our 2020 PHD-CI reports page."

Learn more about how the PhD-Community Initiative will work - The Game Plan Workshops & Meeting Times