10 McKinnon Students Receive Trading Lessons from Empire

By Steven News No Comments on 10 McKinnon Students Receive Trading Lessons from Empire

Empire Communities has reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to the Toronto community by partnering with McKinnon Park Secondary School in Vaughan for an initiative they’re calling the “Empire Co-Op Program”. The goal of the program is to provide young people with valuable experience in the building trades so that, when they enter the job market, they already have the type of experience employers are looking for.


The Co-Op Program provides high schoolers from McKinnon Park with access to Empire’s Avalon development in Caledonia and their Wyndfield development in Brantford. Two high visibility, master-planned community developments that are helping to shape the future of Metro Toronto home market.

Students get hands-on experience with different aspects of home construction and are able to see for themselves how the various trades interact with and feed off of one another.

Empire understands the value of this experience for aspiring tradesmen and women. As Maria Pontes, their Health and Safety Manager has said “There are unique learning experiences that only a co-op placement could provide”.

And indeed, the 10 McKinnon students participating in the program are reaping the benefits of those learning experiences on a daily basis. Empire is also committed to providing a $1,000 scholarship to the participating student who exceeds expectations in order to ease their path toward a career in a construction-related field.

Empire is understandably proud of their unique and diverse relationship with McKinnon Park Secondary School and strives to ensure that every component of the relationship is beneficial to the students involved. They offer a range of programs that offer young people a leg up on exciting and rewarding career paths, such as the innovative Specialist High Schools Major program. The SHSM focuses on green development, hospitality and various specific aspects of the construction trades and awards students a special red seal on their OSS diploma.

In summing up the value of the Empire Co-Op Program Senior Construction and Cooperative Education Teacher at McKinnon Park John Gerritsen perhaps said it best: “Empire Communities… provides students with various experimental learning opportunities that will benefit them now and in the future.”


Empire’s commitment to the local community did not start with the current arrangement with McKinnon Park Secondary School. As far back as 2011-12, they afforded students at Breslau High School the opportunity to participate in construction efforts at their Riverland community.

Nor will their efforts to engage young people in a productive fashion end with the eventual conclusion of the Empire Co-Op Program at McKinnon Park.

As they move forward with their mission to provide quality housing solutions across Southwestern Ontario ever more opportunities to engage young people will undoubtedly present themselves. You can see more about one of their condo projects here.

For 25 years, Empire Communities has been building prestigious homes and ​neighborhoods throughout Toronto and Southwestern Ontario. They pride themselves on their attention to detail and that includes not overlooking our most precious commodity: the builders and leaders of tomorrow. The company looks forward to continuing to provide invaluable life and work experience for the young people of Ontario.

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