For more information call Mark at 519-973-5573 Ext.290

or Email at

The Downtown Mission’s Enterprise Team

  • Mark Gillett, Enterprise Program Coordinator
  • Cheryl Abela, Kitchen Supervisor
  • Roger Poirier, Chef
  • Chris Coulter, Program Coorinator - Chari-Tees
  • Rukshini ponniah -Goulin, Program Director, Distress Centre/Enterprise

A three dimensional Vocational Training, Skills Development and Employment Support initiative of The Windsor Downtown Mission

Filling a Need – Community Outreach

  In a culture of generational poverty where society has been economically marginalized, the Downtown Mission expects eco-social changes, embraces challenges and fosters behind-the-scenes partnerships from our caring and generous community. Responding to the changing needs of “at risk” populations, the Downtown Mission has created the Enterprise Program, a “needs” specific program that offers vocational supports to employment-challenged individuals. Our Enterprise Program builds on the accomplishments of its predecessor, the Culinary Assistant Program. The Enterprise Program provides participants facing a variety of personal struggles and employment barriers have the opportunity to target their career goals, to gain industry standard on-the-job training and to develop skills to equip them to become “job ready” in the both the hospitality sector and sales/marketing through Chari-Tees.

Since 2010, the Downtown Mission (through CAP) has provided the necessary vocational tools, personal supports and networking resources to guide students to taking that first step to changing attitudes – achieving goals. Its success rate spoke volumes, 55% of the students become gainfully employed and productive members of their communities - adding social value to their lives. Many of our alumni continue to support the Downtown Mission as volunteers, to “give back” for the rewarding experience they encountered during their placement.

At the Downtown Mission, opportunity knocks for those determined to open those doors …to work!   

Tools and Resources

  While participating in the Enterprise Program, students benefit from the Downtown Mission’s Employment Skills Training Program three days a week. Workshops are specifically designed to identify a student’s hard and soft skills, to target their career goals and to create a realistic blueprint for employment. The curriculum addresses these topics:   - Communication in the workplace - Teamwork essentials - Decision-making and problem-solving techniques - Conflict management - Employer expectations - Job search strategies   Job ready graduates are encouraged to access the resource center to further explore ongoing employment opportunities and; to network with community service agencies offering job search supports in partnership with the Downtown Mission.

Identifying Transferable Skills

The Enterprise Program employability skills training component is developed to target a student’s hard and soft skills - to prepare them as “job ready” candidates in the workforce.

Off Site Training

  During the program, students are required to take accredited training in workplace health and safety (WOHIS). Students in the hospitality sector stream also take the FOOD HANDLERS COURSE administered by the Windsor Essex County Health Unit. Passing theses exams are mandatory in order for students to receive their certificate. This community-based partnership ensures that students receive supplementary tools to prepare them for entry-level jobs in the food service and hospitality industry.

Continued Supports to Achieve Success

  The Downtown Mission’s open door policy provides Enterprise Program students with a number of supplementary supports. The Enterprise Program team networks with a number of community-based service agencies whose multi-level programs assist students with the management of their post Enterprise Program job search.

Delivering a Solution

In realizing that the number of employment-challenged and “at risk” populations in our community was increasing at an alarming rate, The Downtown Mission developed this enhanced signature program to deliver entry-level skills training for individuals wanting to pursue careers in hospitality, sales and marketing.

Through the provision of a number of life-enriching amenities, The Downtown Mission is recognized for its 45-year tradition of respecting the human condition and creating opportunities to leverage the social and cultural values of our changing populations.

Please fill out the application form below and submit to Mark at

cook with plate of food
Moving in the right direction with a career in the Food Service and Hospitality industry.
Students of the Culinary Assistant Program