The Community Worker Leadership Certificate (CWLC) Feasibility Study

Mothers Matter Centre has been awarded a grant from Canada’s Department of Economic Development and Essential Skills (ESDC) under its Adult Learning Literacy and Essential Skills Program (ALLESP). The ESDC grant will enable us to conduct our project Feasibility Study for a Community Worker Leadership Certificate (CWLC).

The objective of the project is to conduct a feasibility study of national significance for the design, implementation and evaluation of a large-scale pilot for the Community Worker Leadership Certificate (CWLC), which will enhance career advancement, post-secondary educational (PSE) opportunities, and essential skills and knowledge for women community workers. The study will consist of streams of research focusing on social purpose organizations (SPOs), community workers, existing programs for community worker in public PSE institutions, and a community worker labour market analysis.

We have entered into agreements with four public universities to conduct a multi-jurisdictional research for our feasibility study.  Our study meets Canada’s highest academic and ethical guidelines for research involving humans (TPCS2 2014).

Partner Academic Research Institutions and Principal Investigators (PI):

  • University of Ottawa (Ontario), PI: Caroline Andrew
  • Université de Montreal (Quebec), PI: André-Anne Parent
  • Mount Royal University (Alberta), PI: Cynthia Gallop
  • Simon Fraser University (British Columbia), PI: Aude-Claire Fourot

Research Team Members also include:

  • Vivien Runnels, Pan-Canadian Research Manager at University of Ottawa
  • Angela M. Contreras, Pan-Canadian Project Manager at Mothers Matter Centre

Our expected outcomes for the project are:

  • Increase knowledge of gaps in current community worker programs, which will result in a post-secondary curriculum responsive to the needs of community workers to advance their career, post-secondary education and skill-set to support vulnerable women.
  • Increased understanding of social purpose organizations’ current capacity and needs to support career development of community workers; and
  • Increased partnership between PSE institutions and SPOs to support the upskilling of women community workers, advancement in the workplace, and participation in post-secondary training.


The main beneficiaries of the CWLC Feasibility Study will be the women who work in community-based organizations and social purpose organizations.

Community Workers Advisory Committees

The CWLC Feasibility Study is monitored by two Community Workers Advisory Committees –one in Ottawa, Ontario and the second one in Surrey, British Columbia.  Members of the Community Workers Advisory Committees include women, Aboriginal and immigrant, paid or volunteer employees of local food banks, immigrant and refugee settlement programs services, women support groups.  Members of the Advisory Committees meet several times throughout the project to ensure the research tools and activities, findings and recommendations are meaningful to the beneficiaries of the project and represent the diverse perspectives and experiences of women community workers in Canada.

For more information about the CWLC Feasibility Study, contact Angela M. Contreras, Project Manager

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