Humanities apprenticeship program recognized with global IEDC award

A composite image showing young people, presumably students, at work in different settings, plus a nighttime shot of the city of Hamilton.

The partnership between the Faculty of Humanities, the Alumni Office, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Economic Development Office has won an IEDC “Excellence in Economic Development” award.

An innovative partnership program designed to help humanities students make the transition from university to employment has won global recognition from the International Economic Development Council.

The Humanities Career Apprenticeship Program (HCAP), a partnership between the Faculty of Humanities, McMaster’s Alumni Office, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Hamilton Economic Development Office, has won an IEDC “Excellence in Economic Development” award.

The annual awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs, partnerships, marketing materials and influential leaders.

HCAP is supported by Ottawa philanthropist Alan Rottenberg, who helped establish similar programs in universities across the province after seeing his son, newly graduated with an arts degree from Queen’s, struggling to get his first job in 2018. HCAP provides Hamilton-area employers with financial support to supplement the cost of hiring a new humanities graduate for a full year of salaried employment.

The benefits of the program go well beyond that year, says Cristina Foley, the Faculty of Humanities’ manager of career and experiential programs.

“For many participants, the apprenticeship positions have turned into full-time employment offers,” Foley says.

“Alan’s generous support has meant that both McMaster Humanities graduates and Hamilton-area employers are able to contribute to our region’s ongoing prosperity and growth.”

Apprenticeship positions have ranged from communications to digital marketing to business development, demonstrating that there is a diverse range of options for humanities graduates to consider when taking that first step into their careers.

“We’re so grateful to Alan and the Rottenberg Family Foundation for recognizing the value that Humanities graduates bring to the workplace, and for facilitating those all-important first connections with employers,” says Pamela Swett, dean of Humanities.

“This award reinforces Alan’s initial vision that the skills learned while studying the Humanities are relevant and, in fact, essential for many of today’s careers. We couldn’t be happier to have the program acknowledged with such a high-profile award.”

Students can learn more about the 2022-2023 Humanities Career Apprenticeship Program at a series of information sessions. Register through OSCARPlus

For additional information, go to the Humanities Career Apprenticeship Program webpage.

Hamilton employers who are interested in participating in HCAP can go to the Invest in Hamilton website for more information.