Foundations Program

Foundations Program (Skills Training & Work Prep)


Individuals who are interested in applying to the Foundations Program and are new to Adult Developmental Service Ontario (DSO) please call 1-855-DS-ADULT (1-855-372-3858)

Pour plus d’informations sur les services en français contacter Services de l’Ontario pour les personnes ayant une deficience intellectuelle, 1-855-372-3858

For information about services in French, please contact 1-855-372-3858


Individuals who are already connected to Developmental Services Ontario Toronto Region (DSO Toronto Region) please contact your lead agency about applying for the Foundations Program.

The program begins in September and concludes in June.


CGC provides vocational education and life skills training and instruction through the Foundation Program. In this program, individuals are taught the skills needed to successfully enter the world of work. Participants are educated through structured in-class sessions that cover topics such as business communication and problem solving, hard-skills such as operating a cash register, and on-site training at one of the partnerships. CGC puts a special emphasis on the majority of learning being peer directed and led.


The Foundation Program operates yearly starting in September and ending in June. Classes take place four days per week starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 3 p.m. From March until June, participants do a co-op placement at one of the five social purpose enterprises Common Ground proudly supports (The catering company called the Lemon & Allspice Cookery, the three coffee kiosks called The Coffee Shed and CleanABLE)


At the completion of the co-op, existing Partners hold a vote to decide whether or not the co-op participant will become an apprentice based on his or her performance. The apprenticeship is a three-month, paid training period. If the apprentice is successful, he or she may be voted in as an official Partner. In the event the apprentice is not voted into the partnership or decides the businesses are not the right fit, the Foundation Coordinator will work with the participant to seek additional opportunities.


  • A skills training and job program for individuals 18+ years of age with developmental disabilities who are interested in gaining skills, knowledge and experience towards part-time or full-time employment and/or self-employment
  • A program that consists of in-class workshops and hands-on training at one of our business sites: The Lemon & Allspice Cookery, one of three Coffee Sheds, or CleanABLE four days per week
  • Participants will learn the skills needed to operate a business – everything from learning how to use a cash register, customer service, and food & safety techniques, to learning how to do banking and creating business plans.


  • 18+ with developmental disability
  • Lives within the Toronto region
  • Able to travel independently, ready to be trained for employment, and works well in a group environment
  • TTC oriented and/or can take the TTC independently


Contact Information:
Training Coordinator
(416) 421-7117 ext. 203