McGuinty Government's Summer Jobs For Youth Program A Success In London

Archived Release

McGuinty Government's Summer Jobs For Youth Program A Success In London

Youth Gain Real Work Experience And Develop New Skills LONDON, ON, Aug. 29 - One hundred and seventy-five youth from underserved London communities gained valuable skills and work experience as part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program, London North Centre MPP Deb Matthews, London West MPP Chris Bentley and London Fanshawe MPP Khalil Ramal announced today on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers. "Young people in our community told us they needed work experience and job readiness skills," said Matthews. "I am delighted that through the Summer Jobs for Youth Program, youth in London are given positive options to improve their lives and job skills." "These young people in London's underserved communities may have been without employment this summer had it not been for our Summer Jobs for Youth Program," said Elgin-Middlesex-London MPP and Minister of Labour Steve Peters. "This program not only provides employment, it also prepares young people to succeed in the future." The Summer Jobs for Youth Program is a component of the government's Youth Opportunities Strategy, a broad-based plan to help young people faced with significant challenges achieve individual success. The government is investing $28.5 million over the first three years of the strategy. In 2006, the strategy was implemented in Toronto and Durham Region. In 2007, the strategy was expanded to underserved communities in Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa, London and Thunder Bay. "By working with our community partners, we opened doors that would otherwise have been closed," said Ramal. "Everyone benefits from this program - youth gain experience and employers gain valuable team players." "The Summer Jobs for Youth Program reflects our government's commitment to youth in the London area," said Bentley, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "By working with our community partners, we created much-needed jobs and opportunities for young people here." "The government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program is a wonderful investment in our community," said Steve Cordes, Executive Director, Youth Opportunities Unlimited. "Through this program, youth in our underserved neighbourhoods can access opportunities and gain skills that will last a lifetime." "We are proud to be working with our community partners to help young people gain valuable skills and experience," said Chambers. "By helping our youth to access the opportunities they need to be successful, we will all enjoy a better quality of life." The government worked closely with community stakeholders and partners - including the City of London, the United Way of London/Middlesex and community leaders - to identify London's underserved neighbourhoods. They are: Carling, Huron Heights, White Oaks/Southdale and Limberlost. Disponible en français www.children.gov.on.ca www.youthconnect.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN LONDON Contact Info The Ontario government's three-year, $28.5 million Youth Opportunities Strategy is building stronger communities by establishing and expanding community programs that help youth achieve a brighter future. The strategy recognizes that some youth, particularly those in marginalized and stigmatized communities, often do not have access to opportunities and supports that would help them to be successful in life. The government is investing more than $930,000 annually starting this year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in London. In 2006, the Youth Opportunities Strategy was implemented primarily in Toronto and Durham Region neighbourhoods. In 2007, the strategy is continuing in Toronto and Durham Region and has expanded to Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa, London and Thunder Bay. The strategy includes the following initiatives in London: Summer Jobs for Youth Program The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided 175 young people ages 15 to 18 with the job readiness skills they need to build confidence and lead rewarding, productive lives. It includes pre-employment readiness, employment placements in a variety of fields including recreation, business and youth leadership, and post-employment supports. In summer 2007, approximately 1,800 young people participated in the program across the province. The eight-week program is being coordinated by Youth Opportunities Unlimited. Youth in Policing Initiative The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for seven youth ages 14 to 17 to work with the London Police Service this summer. The eight-week program strengthens relationships between youth and the police, enables young people to acquire an understanding of some aspects of policing, and encourages them to consider policing as a future career option. More than 160 young people worked with local police services across the province this summer. London participants worked in a variety of areas, including court services, the identification unit and computer information. Youth Outreach Worker Program The Youth Outreach Worker Program employs five outreach workers year-round to serve as advocates for hard-to-reach youth. Outreach workers ensure youth are aware of, and know how to access, a wide range of programs and services. They also promote youth engagement in all aspects of life in their communities. The program, coordinated by local agencies, employs a total of 66 youth outreach workers across the province. In London, the program is coordinated by London InterCommunity Health Centre. YouthConnect.ca While there is a wide range of programs and services to assist youth, it is often confusing and difficult for youth to know what services are available, where to find them and how to access them. YouthConnect.ca brings this information together in a coordinated, creative, comprehensive and youth-friendly way, for the benefit of youth wherever they live in Ontario. YouthConnect.ca provides a forum for young people to access information, services and resources that will help them make good choices, achieve success and contribute positively to their communities. School-based Prevention/Diversion Program The School-based Prevention/Diversion Program creates partnerships among schools, school boards, community agencies and police. In London, the Thames Valley District School Board and the London District Catholic School Board are working with the St. Leonard's Society of London and the police to implement the program. This program helps high school students ages 12 to 17, who are at risk of becoming involved in or are already involved in violent and/or offending activity, to increase their chances of school success. Justice partners tell us that many young people enter the justice system as a result of a conflict in school and up to 70 per cent of youth appearing in court have been suspended or expelled from school within a year of their offending date. This program increases the ability of schools to deal with conflict through a peer mediation program delivered in the school setting. Participants are also referred to appropriate support services, such as counseling, recreational programming, and assistance with school work, employment and housing. Disponible en français www.children.gov.on.ca www.youthconnect.ca For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416) 212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156 HELP | CONTACT US | PRIVACY | IMPORTANT NOTICES © Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2008-2009 — Last Modified: February 15, 2009 For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416) 212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156