“I want to make connections in Hamilton. Most of all, I want employers to get to know my name and my face,” said Sarah Lim ‘17, an honours English and theatre arts student. This theme was repeated as students from Hamilton’s three post-secondary institutions converged on McMaster’s Innovation Park (MIP) to kick off their exploration of the city’s job market. This April, the Hamilton Employment Crawl, a joint initiative between Redeemer, McMaster and Mohawk, gave more than a 120 students the opportunity to tour one of five sectors: Manufacturing and Technology, Creative, Life and Health Sciences, Finance or Social Services.
While Hamilton has a proud heritage in blue collar industries, “Hamilton is reviving itself,” said Gisela Olivera, one of the event’s organizers, as a place for professionals in emerging sectors to live, work and play.
“Hamilton is reviving itself.”
From MIP students separated into the individual tours and met and explored the working space of diverse employers like Digital Canaries Film & Set Studios, Co/Motion on King, Collective Arts Brewing, and Indwell. These employers are broadening the employment landscape in Hamilton. Moreover, they are building community, “that students might find Hamilton a place they can call home,” said Bruce Wilson, Redeemer’s co-op director and a key organizer of the employment crawl.
Students were impressed by the opportunities available in their own back yard. Accounting Co-op student Trevor DeWeerd said, “The Finance Tour highlighted how important it is to make connections. Today I heard about Co/Motion on King as well as Hamilton Hive, Hamilton’s umbrella organization for young leaders, for the first time.” Redeemer alumna, Anna Marie Wolfe, was surprised by the job prospects available within the city of Hamilton. “I was very impressed with the businesses that we visited. Learning about their hiring processes changed my perspective on how to write my resume and cover letters; to tailor them to the individual employer expectations.”
At the last stop of the day students were greeted by Hamilton’s Mayor, Fred Eisenberger who encouraged students in their employment goals. After highlighting Hamilton’s Economic Development Action Plan students were able to network with city staff, gaining insight in finding employment in the various sectors.
“I was really impressed by the energy and enthusiasm of students to engage with employers,” Wilson said. “They were keen and intrigued by the business opportunities. It bodes well for the region when talent like this can find their future here in Hamilton.”