Summer Job Programs A Success In Thunder Bay

Archived Release

Summer Job Programs A Success In Thunder Bay

Part Of McGuinty Government Strategy To Provide More Opportunities For Youth THUNDER BAY, ON, Sept. 6 - One hundred and sixty-eight youth from underserved communities in Thunder Bay and area have successfully completed summer job placements as part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program and Youth in Policing Initiative. "I find it very impressive that during the past two months, these young men and women have demonstrated that they are eager to learn new skills and willing to work," said Gravelle. "They have embraced the opportunity to apply their talents, develop additional skills and gain valuable real work experience that will help them reach their potential." "I'm pleased that our government is finding ways to promote summer employment for our young people," said Mauro. "These initiatives provide opportunities for our youth to earn work experience and develop valuable skills so they can get good jobs and strengthen our northern economy." The Summer Jobs for Youth Program and the Youth in Policing Initiative are components 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 Thunder Bay, Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa and London. "This program has been an excellent experience for all involved," said Lorraine Boland, Executive Director of YES Employment Services. "The young people who got jobs were grateful for the opportunity to work in challenging positions and the experience they gained will benefit them as they continue with school or enter the world of work." "The Youth in Policing Initiative is a wonderful opportunity to build relationships between the OPP and young people from the communities we serve," said Chief Superintendent Mike Armstrong. "The participating officers, as well as the youth, formed bonds that will likely continue through their high school years." "The Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service would like to acknowledge the appreciable contributions of six confident and motivated young people to the administration of policing in northern Ontario," said Nishnawbe-Aski Police Chief Paul Trivett. "We would also like to thank the Ministry of Children and Youth Services for our inclusion in such a positive summer employment experience." The Summer Jobs for Youth Program in Thunder Bay provided 158 youth ages 15 to 18 with employment placements in a variety of fields such as recreation, business and youth leadership. Through the Youth in Policing Initiative, four youth ages 14 to 17 worked with the North West Region OPP in the Thunder Bay region and six youth worked in communities policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. Participants worked in a number of areas including equipment maintenance, court case management filing, presentation preparation and course material development. "These programs provide young people from underserved neighbourhoods with important work experience that will help them increase their self-confidence and open the doors to increased opportunity," said Chambers. "These youth have talent, enthusiasm and potential. Our government is working to help them harness those talents, sustain that enthusiasm and realize that potential." The Ministry of Children and Youth Services worked closely with community stakeholders and partners, including the City of Thunder Bay, the Thunder Bay District Social Services Administration Board and community leaders to identify neighbourhoods in Thunder Bay that could benefit most from these programs. They are McKellar, South Core, Northwood and Westfort in the south, and Downtown North Core and Current River in the north. Disponible en français www.children.gov.on.ca www.youthconnect.ca Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN THUNDER BAY 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 approximately $953,000 annually starting this year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Thunder Bay and area. 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 Thunder Bay, Windsor, Ottawa, London and Hamilton. The strategy includes the following initiatives in Thunder Bay: Summer Jobs for Youth Program The 2007 Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided 158 young people ages 15 to 18 with the job readiness skills they need to build self-esteem 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 YES Employment Services. Youth in Policing Initiative The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities this summer for four youth ages 14 to 17 to work with the OPP in the Thunder Bay region and six youth to work in communities policed by the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service. 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 worked in a number of areas including equipment maintenance, court case management filing, presentation preparation and course material development. Approximately 160 young people worked with local police services across the province this summer. 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 Thunder Bay, the program is coordinated by Dilico Ojibway Child and Family Services in conjunction with Superior Points of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and the Children's Aid Society of the District of Thunder Bay. 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. The government's new website, 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 new 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 is a partnership among schools, the Superior Greenstone District School Board, the John Howard Society of Thunder Bay and police that helps high school students less than 18 years of age, 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. 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