Media release

Communitech and Laurier to develop framework to prepare mid-career workforce for Future of Work

Community framework will focus on empowering workforce to develop skills through training

KITCHENER, ONT., November 16, 2020 — Communitech and Wilfrid Laurier University have partnered to deploy the first truly agile skills development program in Canada, connecting community, industry and post-secondary education. This partnership, entitled “A Framework for Future-proofing Communities,” was funded by the Ontario government through the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development’s Skills Catalyst Program.  

“The very nature of work is changing faster than at any other time in our history. Expert research has found that 54 per cent of employees will need fundamentally new skills by 2022 and 35 per cent of those will require more than six months of training,” said Simon Chan, VP of Future of Work at Communitech. “Through this partnership, we will create a framework to share amongst communities in Ontario to ensure economic prosperity by preparing our workforces to meet the challenges presented by the Future of Work

The framework, which was launched in late March 2020, focuses on developing skills for mid-career workers in order to better prepare them for change in their careers and help employers as they build a more resilient workforce. All learnings will be used to develop a set of tools and templates that can be adopted and delivered by any community in Ontario seeking to future-proof its workforce. 

“Laurier is pleased to be partnering with Communitech on this initiative, which will have real-world benefits for professionals in a variety of fields in communities across Canada,” said Mary Wilson, Laurier’s vice-provost of Teaching and Learning. “Together, we are helping to build a stronger, more adaptable workforce so both workers and employers can be as prepared for the future as possible.” 

Training opportunities built and offered through this partnership are focused on two of the most in-demand skill areas for today’s workforce: sales and communications. These opportunities are being tested with professionals from almost 20 employers in the Waterloo Region. 

From August to February, 40 mid-career employees, selected by members of the Waterloo Region Future of Work and Learning Coalition, will develop their skills through a combination of sprint learning, offered through Communitech Academy, and longer-term immersion learning, offered through Laurier. Through the Communitech Academy, workers will learn skills they can apply across industries through six sessions in three weeks. 

In immersion learning, they will learn sales and communications skills through a combination of in-class and hands-on learning with the help of Laurier professors and practitioners who’ve condensed a semester-long for-credit course into six weeks.

For more information on ‘A Framework for Future-proofing Communities’, please visit:

- 30 -

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres

Manager, Communications, Communitech



Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications
External Relations, Wilfrid Laurier University 


About Communitech

Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was wild talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players. 

Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.

  • Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.

  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.

  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.


About Wilfrid Laurier University

Wilfrid Laurier University is committed to academic excellence. Laurier’s holistic approach to learning integrates innovative programming with hands-on experience outside the classroom to ensure Laurier graduates are not only ready for the future but? are inspired to leave their mark on the world. Community is at the heart of all we do. Laurier inspires students to engage in campus life and the broader community, leading to high levels of student satisfaction and engaged alumni who carry the Laurier legacy throughout the world. As a community of researchers, leaders and educators, Laurier builds knowledge that serves society and creates connections that have a lasting impact. Learn more about Laurier’s 20,000+ students in nine faculties and federated university college throughout Waterloo, Brantford, Kitchener and Toronto at