June 13, 2019

Ottawa Mission job training program achieves 95% success rate in helping people achieve employment

Ottawa Mission job training program achieves 95% success rate in helping people who are homeless and at risk of homelessness achieve employment and independence

Ottawa, ON – Today, 14 graduates of the Ottawa Mission’s Food Services Training Program (FSTP) received their diplomas. This five-month training program provides men and women the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to work in a commercial kitchen. In addition to students and Ottawa Mission representatives, educational and private sector partners participated in the graduation.

“Since 2004, 149 students have graduated from this program, and, to date, 142 are employed by the time they graduate, a success rate of 95%,” noted Director of Food Services Chef Ric Allen-Watson.

“Our government applauds this program for its success in preparing more people for work by overcoming barriers to employment and helping employers attract skilled workers,” the Hon. Lisa MacLeod, MPP, Ontario Minister of Children, Community and Social Services stated. The program also enjoys significant support from partners within the educational and private sectors.

“Applicants must demonstrate only one qualification to be accepted: a strong desire to change their lives for the better. Students pay no costs and we ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed,” noted Ottawa Mission Executive Director Peter Tilley. Students receive training in WHIMIS, health and safety, Food Handler’s Certification and first aid/CPR.

The unparalleled success of this program instills not only the knowledge and practical skills to work in a commercial kitchen, but also dignity, self-sufficiency, pride, and independence. “Many of these graduates have never graduated from any form of higher education or training, and have also endured significant hardship in their lives, including family violence and neglect, serious health conditions, transition to a new country, and other challenges,” Allen-Watson added.

“We are proud at the Mission to support students to rebuild their lives through this unique and highly successful program,” Ottawa Mission Board Chair Matt Triemstra concluded.

About The Ottawa Mission

Since 1906, The Ottawa Mission has been serving the homeless, the hungry and the lost by providing food, clothing, shelter and hope. In 2017- 2018, The Ottawa Mission sheltered an average of 236 men every night and served an average of 1,312 meals every day. The Ottawa Mission also provides health services, mental health and addiction treatment programs, hospice care, dental services, educational support, job training, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to thousands in need in our community.


Aileen Leo
Director of Communications
T 613.234.1144 x 305
C 613.712.3092