Program pairs recent grads with Kingston businesses

Photo by Jessica Foley.

A made-in-Kingston program is getting set to launch for its third year. The 2021 Queen’s Career Apprenticeship: Kingston Program is the result of a partnership between Kingston Economic Development and the Queen’s University Faculty of Arts and Science. 

It aims to connect new graduates from the arts, humanities and social science disciplines with an employer in Kingston.

The program will see candidates paired with local businesses for a 12-month contract. Employers are reimbursed for four months of salary for a maximum of $16,000.

This is the third year the program has run in Kingston and it has since expanded to Guelph, London and Hamilton in Ontario, as well as Okanagan in British Columbia.

“The program has seen great results for the employers that participated over the years, as well as the community,” a news release stated. “To date, the program matched over 35 arts graduates with local employers resulting in over $1,225,000 in new salaries.”

The program is the brainchild of philanthropist Alan Rottenberg who was struck by the idea after witnessing how hard it was for his sons to find employment after becoming arts graduates. The hope is that these apprentices would be held for positions beyond the first year. 

“The impact of QCAK is threefold: Queens Arts graduates start their career with meaningful full-time employment,” Rottenberg said in a statement to the Kingstonist, “Employers are hiring great energy and talent into their companies, and the City of Kingston gains a new group of young citizens.”

For more information on the program visit

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