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Workshops & Training

Industry-led training for our future workforce

We work closely with our local school boards to organize customized workshops and training — led in partnership with industry professionals — that meet the needs of our local school communities.

After participating in a recent training…

93% of students feel more aware of challenges facing real companies

90% of students feel more prepared to problem solve real challenges companies face

97% of students have a better understanding of their skills and how they can be developed

Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship (ICE) Challenges

ICE Challenges are one-day trainings that engage students in challenges facing local businesses and community organizations.

Targeted towards grade 11-12 students enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Major program, participants are trained on a design thinking methodology which they apply to understand the challenge and generate solutions. Participants then pitch their ideas back to the participating business or organization, referred to as the “sector partner.”

While students develop career awareness and creative confidence, the sector partner receives fresh perspectives on today’s challenges, while investing in tomorrow’s workforce.

Interested students or educators: contact us below for more details on how to sign up.


2020-2021 Ice
Challenge Dates

November 18, 2020 Virtual – Sector Partner TBD

November 19, 2020 Virtual – Sector Partner TBD

March 23, 2021 Details TBD

March 24, 2021 Details TBD

March 25, 2021 Details TBD

I wouldn’t have passed up this experience for anything. After engaging with the incredible talent, I found myself with an interview at my now wonderful workplace.


I feel more highly of myself I guess...this challenge made me have to think outside of the box and take initiative over things and I found it very helpful doing this.

—StudentSt. Mary’s CSS (@ Waterloo Region Small Business Centre)

This event taught me how to communicate with others in order to effectively solve an existing problem for a real life business. I learned that though companies may have successes, in order to maintain this success they constantly need new ideas.

—StudentSt. David’s (@ THEMUSEUM)

The students said they felt valued. They commented that they felt as they could actually make a contribution to real problems and challenges the tech companies are dealing with and that what they've learned in school could be put into action and "tested out" with real problems. The day both inspired and opened students' eyes to careers and the types of creative opportunities they might like to pursue.


For me, participating confirmed my interest in computer science. Being able to work directly with a company provided me with the knowledge of the skill sets that startups are looking for.


I think it’s a great opportunity for students to come together and work through a real life problem while providing the organizations with a different viewpoint on challenges they might be facing.


This event helped me discover new strengths I did not know I had.

—StudentResurrection CSS (@Communitech)

You can make a difference

Our workshops and trainings positively impact young people in Waterloo Region. Local businesses and community organizations can help us make these experiences possible for more youth by being a “sector partner.”

Requirements are to:

  • Work with the BEP to develop an appropriate, sector-specific challenge for grade 11-12 students
  • Provide an opportunity for students to better understand your challenge: historically, this has included hosting the event at a relevant location and organizing a relevant activity, such as a tour, simulation, and/or a Q&A interview with company representatives; virtual events will be modified accordingly
  • Be available on the day of the challenge to answer questions, hear ideas, and share feedback

If you want to make a difference for the youth in our community, we’re here to make it easy for you. Contact us or create a profile in our Partnership Portal to get started.

Contact us for more information

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Recent sector partners