Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Expanding Horizons

Professional Development

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Projects 2017/18

Community Foundation for Kingston & Areas – increasing visibility

The Community Foundation for Kingston & Area is a local, charitable foundation supported and run by citizens of the Kingston area (www.cfka.org). We strengthen our community by connecting charitable giving to community needs and through a grants program we fund a variety of projects in all ‘fields of interest’ that will enhance the quality of life in our community. Our challenge is that there are many in our community who are unfamiliar with our organization and what we do suggesting that we need to increase our visibility and build awareness in our community so we may have a greater impact for the betterment of Kingston and areas. Ideas, approaches and strategies to help us better tell our story, reach more people (e.g. possible donors, volunteers), and leverage resources would enhance our capacity to address community needs.

Enrichment Studies – building partnerships

Enrichment Studies Unit (ESU) had provided academic programming and enrichment opportunities to elementary and secondary school students identified as ‘gifted’; however such programming has largely been phased out. Consequently, the ESU has needed to expand beyond its traditional programming to offer new programs, including an English as a Second Language program which presents an ideal opportunity to foster stronger community ties between Queen’s University and both the Kingston community and communities from around the world. Partnerships are important to the ESU in expanding its programming, though fostering these new partnerships and programs efficiently and effectively is a challenge for a small unit with limited resources.

KEYS Job Centre

KEYS Job Centre manages a project called Refugee Resettlement Services Kingston in partnership with Kingston Community Health Centres / Immigrant Services of Kingston to welcome government-assisted refugees to Kingston. Since September 2016, this project has supported the arrival of 33 families to Kingston - mostly from Syria, and from parts of central and Eastern Africa. We have a professional staff team that provides resettlement and settlement services to these newcomer families. We also organize teams of volunteers to befriend and support families with getting to know their new community and help them settle in. We are seeking new ways to help these families, especially the adults, to engage and integrate with their community through, for example, developing computer literacy including social media skills. There are many possibilities that could positively impact new-comer experience that would benefit from further development. 

Labour force gaps in the tourism industry

This project will focus on how Kingston can enhance its ability to attract, train and retain skilled professionals in the hospitality and tourism industry. Working with community public and private tourism partners, universities, colleges, and high schools in the surrounding region graduate students will explore the many considerations of what is required for improving and developing a sustainable professional labour force for the hospitality and tourism industry.

Supporting Kingston’s In-migration

The City of Kingston is invested in expanding services and building program infrastructure to support and attract talented international students to live and work in our community post-graduation. The goals are to better integrate our students (and their families) into the community so they are part of the socio-economic fabric and to create pathways to retain graduating students as residents contributing as part of a highly skilled workforce. To do so requires a broad-based approach that touches on promotion, services, resources, messaging, programs and more. Moving forward requires a better understanding of what we have, what we need and what we can mobilize to achieve success.

Tackling the issue of the ‘trailing’ spouse/partner

Recruiting highly-skilled talent to the Kingston workforce can be a challenge when there are also career and/or lifestyle needs of a spouse or partner and family considerations.  All too often employers find that their top ranked candidate for the job either turns down the offer due to a lack of opportunities for their partner or spouse, or accepts the offer but leaves shortly after because of spousal under- employment or stalled career. This is a difficult issue for single employers to resolve on their own and creative solutions or approaches are needed. Collaborative strategies for like-minded employers to address the issue by opening up opportunities and breaking down barriers that block spouses and partners from relocating to Kingston and advancing their own careers or interests could aid in recruitment. Exploring the issue and identifying possible approaches, partnerships, models of practice would be a good starting point.