Employers Make Summer Jobs For Youth Program In Toronto A Success

Archived Release

Employers Make Summer Jobs For Youth Program In Toronto A Success

Program Part Of Strategy To Provide More Opportunities For Youth TORONTO, Aug. 30 - Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers met today with employers who gave jobs this summer to young people in underserved Toronto communities as part of the McGuinty government's 2007 Summer Jobs for Youth Program. "I want to extend my sincere thanks to the more than 300 Toronto employers that participated in our summer jobs program this year," said Chambers at an event hosted by Tropicana Community Services, the coordinator of the program. "During the past two months, these employers gave young men and women the opportunities to apply their talents, develop additional skills and gain valuable real work experience that will help them reach their potential." Three hundred and twelve employers participated in the 2007 Summer Jobs for Youth Program in Toronto. The program included pre-employment readiness and post-employment supports and provided approximately 900 young people with interesting and varied jobs such as: - research assistant - tutor - mural artist - childcare assistant - mechanic assistant - camp counselor - salesperson - office assistant - nursing home aide. Contact Info "2007 was our second year participating in the Summer Jobs for Youth Program," said Ken George, CEO of Aaron Multitec Systems, a Scarborough-based telecommunications company that hired three young people this summer. "The young people that worked for us were enthusiastic and innovative and contributed to the overall success of our team." The Summer Jobs for Youth Program is one 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 Windsor, Ottawa, London, Hamilton and Thunder Bay. "This summer's program has been a great success," said Carmen Brown-Harper, Program Coordinator at Tropicana Community Services. "We are pleased that so many employers were receptive to providing these young people with rewarding summer job experiences." In 2007, the Youth Opportunities Strategy also included partnering with local police services to create summer jobs for approximately 160 additional young people from underserved communities in Ontario. As well, 66 new youth outreach workers are providing advice and connecting youth to appropriate services across the province. Disponible en français www.children.gov.on.ca www.youthconnect.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN TORONTO 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 approximately $5.4 million annually to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Toronto. 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 Ottawa, Windsor, London, Hamilton and Thunder Bay. The strategy includes the following initiatives in Toronto: Summer Jobs for Youth Program The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided approximately 900 young people ages 15 to 18 with the job readiness skills they need to build confidence and lead rewarding, productive lives. It included 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 coordinated by Tropicana Community Services. Youth in Policing Initiative The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for approximately 100 youth to work with the Toronto Police Service again 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. Participants ages 14 to 17 worked in a variety of areas, including information technology, forensic identification, community events and traffic safety. Approximately 160 young people worked with local police services across the province this summer. Youth Outreach Worker Program The Youth Outreach Worker Program employs 35 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 Toronto, the program is coordinated through three lead agencies - East Metro Youth Services in Scarborough/East York, the Jamaican Canadian Association in North York and the Yorktown Child and Family Centre in Etobicoke/York. 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. The design and content of the website was developed based on input and feedback from youth and stakeholders that interact with youth. School-based Prevention/Diversion Program The School-based Prevention/Diversion Program creates partnerships among schools, school boards, police and community agencies. Partners include the Toronto District School Board, East Metro Youth Services, West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre, Hincks-Dellcrest Institute and the Toronto Police Service. This program helps students ages 12 to 17 who are at risk of becoming involved or are already involved in violent and/or offending activity, 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. Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and Work Program The OPS Learn and Work Program engages youth ages 16 to 19 to the world of work by offering them meaningful cooperative education work experiences in the Ontario government and its related agencies. Upon completion of this Specialized Co-operative Education Program, participants will have had the opportunity to earn academic credits toward their high school diploma and obtain up to 27 weeks of meaningful work experience, consisting of one co-op placement per semester in the Ontario Public Service and its Agencies. The program was piloted in February 2006, and has grown from a one-semester program helping 20 students, to a one-year program helping students in four locations across the province. The current program is being delivered at: - Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute in Scarborough - Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School in northwest Toronto - J.L. Forster Secondary School in Windsor - St. Pius X Catholic Secondary School in Ottawa. 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