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

Archived Release

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

Youth Gain Real Work Experience And Develop New Skills OTTAWA, Sept. 6 - One hundred and sixty-five youth from underserved Ottawa communities gained valuable skills and work experience as part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program, Ottawa West - Nepean MPP Jim Watson announced today on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne Chambers. "The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided young people with the job readiness skills and the work experience they told us they need," said Watson, Minister of Health Promotion. "Through this program, youth are given positive options to improve their live and job skills." "These young people in Ottawa's underserved communities may have been without employment this summer had it not been for our Summer Jobs for Youth Program," said Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services. "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. "Employers found these young people eager to learn and willing to work," said McNeely. "They just needed a chance to show what they can do." "Through our Summer Jobs for Youth Program, some young people in underserved Ottawa communities had access to unique opportunities that will lay a solid foundation for future success," said Patten. "The Summer Jobs for Youth Program reflects our government's commitment to youth in Ottawa," said Lalonde. "We responded to the needs of young people in underserved communities and created much-needed jobs and opportunities." "Programs such as Summer Jobs for Youth show the government's community investment at its best," said Alex Munter, Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. "This type of support provides youth in our underserved neighbourhoods with opportunities that just wouldn't be available to them otherwise." "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 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 Ottawa, United Way of Ottawa and Ottawa Police Service - to identify neighbourhoods in Ottawa that could benefit most from these programs. They are: Overbrook and Vanier in the east; Caldwell and Debra-Dynes in the central west area; Ledbury, Banff, Heatherington and Confederation in the south, and Richie, Dumaurier and Michele Heights in the west. Disponible en français www.children.gov.on.ca www.youthconnect.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN OTTAWA 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 underserved communities, often face barriers gaining access to opportunities and supports that would help them to be successful in life. The government is investing more than $1 million annually starting this year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Ottawa. In 2006, the Youth Opportunities Strategy was implemented in Toronto and Durham Region neighbourhoods. In 2007, the strategy is continuing in Toronto and Durham Region and has expanded to Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor, London and Thunder Bay. The strategy includes the following initiatives in Ottawa: Summer Jobs for Youth Program The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided 165 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 supports, 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 the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa. Youth in Policing Initiative The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for six youth ages 14 to 17 to work with the Ottawa 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 develop skills relevant to a possible career in policing. More than 160 young people worked with local police services across the province this summer. Ottawa participants worked in a variety of areas, including recruitment, community events, and training with police officers and the canine and tactical units. 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 Ottawa, the program is coordinated by the Boys and Girls Club of Ottawa. 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 is a partnership among schools, the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, Ecole secondaire catholique Franco-Cité, Ecole secondaire publique Gisèle-Lalonde, the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa and Ottawa 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 up to 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: Velma Morgan, Minister's Office, (416) 212-7159, (416) 458-2258 (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: Velma Morgan, Minister's Office, (416) 212-7159, (416) 458-2258 (cell); Anne Machowski-Smith, Ministry of Children and Youth Services, (416) 325-5156