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United Way Invests $3.5 Million To Support Youth Employment

Funds help increase the employability of young people facing multiple barriers 

May 1, 2019 — On the launch of Youth Week, United Way Greater Toronto is announcing a $3.5-million investment over the next year towards programs that help youth secure meaningful employment in Peel, Toronto and York regions. This investment will support 30 programs that support youth facing multiple barriers, including racialized, LGBTQ, Indigenous, newcomer, low-income, and disabled youth.

Young adults have been deeply affected by the changing nature of work and are now more likely to work in part-time, contract and temporary positions than they were in the past. Youth unemployment has also been on the rise for more than a decade and research shows that not everyone has equal access to opportunities – increasingly, background and circumstance determine who gets ahead. The right investments in the beginning of a young person’s working life can help curb youth and family poverty for years to come.

A priority for United Way is to help young people thrive and reach their greatest potential by ensuring they can access life-changing supports like mentorship, networking opportunities, skills training, and job placements. “An investment in young people is an investment in our region,” said Nation Cheong, Vice President, Community Opportunities & Mobilization, United Way Greater Toronto. “We invest in strategies and initiatives that enable the full potential in all youth and embrace the diverse contexts in which they live.” 

This youth employment investment supports four streams of work:

Career Navigator: helps youth gain industry-recognized credentials needed for in-demand employment opportunities in four sectors: hospitality, construction, IT, and health and social services.

  • Recipients: Aptus Treatment Centre, Labour Education Centre, Building Up, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, Hospitality Workers Training Centre, International Development and Relief Foundation, Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, NPower Canada

netWORKS: connects young people to opportunity through career-oriented networking and mentoring connections through training, group and individual sessions, and structured one-on-one relationships.

  • Recipients: Community Living York South, COSTI, Centre for Education & Training, The Neighbourhood Organization, Tropicana Community Services Organization

Program Grants: increase employment opportunities for youth facing multiple barriers.

  • Recipients: 360 Kids, Canadian Hearing Society, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals, Christie-Ossington Neighbourhood Centre, Furniture Bank, Jessie’s, JobStart, JVS Toronto, Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, Native Child and Family Services of Toronto, St. Stephen’s Community House, The 519, The Neighbourhood Organization, West Scarborough Neighbourhood Community Centre, Youth-LEAPS

Development Grants: capacity-building grants that support improvements to employment programming for youth facing multiple barriers.

  • Recipient: Canadian Council on Rehabilitation and Work

We are grateful to RBC and the RBC Foundation for being a longstanding funding partner supporting youth in our community.

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