Community Development through Capacity Building

It is one thing to be able to provide a service to a client and achieve the desired outcome, but it’s another, perhaps more sustainable approach, to build capacity among clients and partners to be able to deliver the service on their own. In the training world, this can be as simple as a Train-the-Trainer model. In OTEC’s world, this is our philosophical approach to community development and what we strive for in every relationship we have with community partners.

Like any situation where there is a transfer of information, it’s critical to have a process to follow, to avoid ending up with a breakdown in communication. Like the broken telephone game, if information is just verbally passed on from one person to another, and to another, and then another, there is a strong likelihood that the end message will not be the same as the original message. OTEC operates with many different processes; however in OTEC’s new Community Development section of our recently revamped website you’ll find the image above. This is the overarching framework that guides our community development projects which starts with a level of involvement from OTEC and over time, this involvement decreases as the community partners’ involvement increases as they build capacity.

The circular model outlines the consulting, instructional design, training delivery and evaluation process of a project from start to finish.


  1. At the beginning of every project OTEC’s team analyzes the partners’ goals and objectives through a needs assessment.
  2. From here, the training intervention is designed, ranging from single day workshops, to a full-time, 5 days a week, 10 week in-class training program.
  3. Program delivery is supported by OTEC through our Train-the-Trainer model and OTEC often coaches our partners’ teams as they launch and deliver the new program.
  4. The final stage, Evaluation & Dissemination of Best Practices, is a unique advantage. Through feedback from our partners, their clients and stakeholders, we adjust any touch point throughout the project that shows room for improvement and help to identify the ROI impacts of these improvements over time.

As an organization with partners all across the province and counterparts in most of the provinces and territories, OTEC leverages the collective expertise of this network to continuously improve and share successes and lessons learned.  Subsequently, with each delivery cycle, the resources attracted and community engagement expands as the successes and impacts are disseminated to the communities as a whole.

It’s taken decades of pre-employment projects to fine tune our model and to transform into a well-oiled machine, however at the end of the day, it goes back to our philosophy and what we love to do, give people the tools they need to excel on their own, celebrate their success, and think long term.  Check out some of our Community Development Project Partners and the great work that they are doing at:

Kim is OTEC’s Manager of Consulting Projects and Partnerships. She is responsible for developing and managing workforce training and consulting projects across Ontario. In her spare time Kim enjoys spending time with friends and family, exploring Toronto’s culinary scene, relaxing up North and cheering for the Buffalo Bills in support of her Buffalonian fiance.


Posted: 2/11/2015 10:22:55 AM by Paula Lanza | with 0 comments
Filed under: building, capacity, community, development, OTEC, partnership, workforce

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