A university cannot work in isolation. At York, we believe in learning from the communities we serve, and partnering with neighbourhoods, businesses, researchers and organizations around us. We know from experience that collaborative work broadens our vision and increases our ability to solve urgent societal problems, while offering our students valuable learning and career opportunities.
An important partnership that began in this academic year allowed York to begin offering courses in our commerce program at the IBM Canada headquarters in Markham. In another example, Glendon psychology and political science student Mary Hawk partnered with shelters in the GTA to distribute customized self-care boxes to women in crisis.
Other important partnerships are taking place to support our communities with their most pressing needs. In response to shortages for PPE, our Faculty of Health also delivered more than 3,000 N95 masks to Mackenzie Health Hospital in Vaughan, 49,000 pairs of medical gloves to Humber River Hospital, 1,000 pairs to the Bethany Lodge senior care facility, and a ventilator to Mackenzie Health.
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The Schulich School of Business partnered with the City of Toronto, Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) and a team of leading global technology companies this summer to help main street retailers survive the COVID-19 crisis. The Digital Main Street ShopHERE initiative created paid learning placements for 100 Schulich students to help thousands of small business and artists across the Greater Toronto Area move online. The initiative was supported by Shopify, Google, Mastercard Canada, Facebook and SnapChat and provided the students with invaluable hands-on training while assisting main street retailers in need.
A transformational collaboration between York University, the City of Vaughan and Mackenzie Health and ventureLAB is studying the creation of a state-of-the-art, community-focused health care hub in the 82-acre area around the future Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.
The feasibility study has focused on what will be the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, and how to create a world-class health experience rooted in the needs of York Region. The study also looks at strategies to generate economic opportunities, research innovation, training and development, and to enhance the delivery of modern front-line healthcare for patients. Some of the ideas explored include opportunities for Mackenzie Health to collaborate with York University in the area of academic health sciences.
York launched a business accelerator that will help women entrepreneurs by providing mentoring, workshops, leadership training, and a supportive community to 54 women business owners . The Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning Alliance (ELLA) run by Innovation York in partnership with the small business enterprise centres of Markham, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, and York Region, as well as corporate partners like Shopify. It received $1.8 million funding from the federal government. The program participants will receive 10 months of training and support designed to accelerate the growth of their businesses.