History

Working Women Community Centre was created in June 1974 in Toronto’s West End to help newcomer women with pre-employment and employment counseling. Specifically the Centre was created to help women from Portugal, Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. The original name of the Centre was Women’s Community Employment Centre and later changed to WWCC with the view to conveying that all women were entitled to meaningful employment.

Rich History of helping Immigrant Women Succeed

WWCC has a long history of innovative and responsive employment training and social enterprise programs. Our strength has been and still is our ability to adapt and respond to the needs of women in Toronto’s newcomer communities with creative yet pragmatic programs and services.

1978 – WWCC sponsored- the creation of the Working Skills Centre, a mailroom on-the-job training program for Spanish and Portuguese speaking women. WSC continues to help immigrant women today access meaningful employment.

1984- WWCC supported the creation and development of the South Asian Women’s Centre which – continues to provide settlement and others services to South Asian women in Toronto.

1985-89 – WWCC in partnership with Humber College introduced Women into Electronics Assembler Program providing immigrant women with skills for entry level positions in the electronics industry.

1980-to present- – Providing English training opportunities has been an integral component of WWCC’s services to immigrant women through the provision of English as a Second Language Program and Language Instruction for Newcomers. In addition the introduction of computer training for immigrant women was developed to bridge the gap to entering the job market.

1980-85- Modistas Unidas Workshop , an informal collective of skilled- Portuguese speaking dressmakers sponsored by WWCC and with funding from CCDP (Canada Community DevelopmentProject) was created. This enterpriseing project developed a professional dressmaking business with high quality workmanship with an exclusive women’s line.

1995-97-Training for Home Daycare Providers- Program in partnership with Canadian Mothercraft Society trained over 400 immigrant women.

2005 – WWCC parternered with George Brown College- , United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Ministry of Colleges and Universitities to provide Baker/Patissier pre-apprenticeship training for immigrant women.

2007- WWCC partnered with the Carpenters Union Local 27 Training Centre and Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities to provide pre-apprenticeship Carpentery training for immigrant women

Working Women Community Centre Today

Today WWCC services all newcomer communities across the city, with office locations in the Jane/Finch Community, Don Mills/Sheppard/Peanut Town Community, the Bloor West Community and the Victoria Village Community. We have the capacity to provide services and programs in 25 languages. In 2009 WWCC served over 10,500 clients, involved over 400 volunteers and 125 staff.

Recognition and Award

2013 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award

Working Women’s Executive Director, Marcie Ponte, receives the honour of the Queen’s Jubilee Award for her near three decades of service to Working Women Community Service and the advancement of women’s causes throughout Toronto.

2008 Soroptimist International of Toronto Award
WWCC is recognized for outstanding work to improve the lives of women in Toronto

2007 Federation of Portuguese Canadian Business and Professionals
WWCC is recognized for outstanding professional achievement for promoting the goals and aspirations of Portuguese people in Toronto

2006 Access Equity & Human Rights Award – City of Toronto
WWCC is recognized for its work with immigrant women in Toronto

2005 Regional Government of the Azores
WWCC partners with the RGA to provide services to Azoreans living in Toronto

 Women in Cities International Award 2004
WWCC is recognized for its work in violence prevention work through our work in Freedom from Violence through Education