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Extra! Extra! ILEO hard at work in Scarborough

Student journalists from Centennial College who worked on a newspaper all about the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) initiative.

This week we’re talking about students from Centennial College creating a newsletter about ILEO, an upcoming mayoral debate in Mississauga, National Volunteer Week and United Way’s new book club!

Dear Friend,

Recently, I was interviewed by a journalism student from Centennial College about ILEO, the Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity initiative we convene with BMO Financial Group. This student, along with several of their peers, was working on a special project with us: creating a newsletter all about ILEO and the change we are making in Scarborough’s Greater Golden Mile.

The student asked me why exactly this newsletter was important. And the answer was simple: For the work ILEO is doing to be effective, people need to know about it. And they need to know it works.

Most importantly, the newsletter let residents know about the opportunities being created by the infrastructure projects and new developments coming to the area. How change doesn’t have to lead to displacement. Instead, it can be a chance for residents to get involved and be a part of building up the neighbourhoods they love and call home.

Because, at its heart, that’s what ILEO is about. Bringing more than 30 partners together to make sure the transformational growth happening in the Golden Mile and across our region benefits everyone.

We’ll continue to work with Centennial and other partners operating in the Golden Mile to get the word out. And I’ll keep sharing updates with you here, too. Because you’re part of this work. And together, we’re going to build a region where everyone can thrive. A GTA for all.

Daniele Zanotti
President & CEO
United Way Greater Toronto

Things to Know Right Now

Mississauga mayoral debate

After successfully co-hosting a debate ahead of Toronto’s mayoral election last year, we are thrilled to be doing it again, this time for the mayoral by-election in Mississauga. Co-hosted by United Way, Sheridan College, the Mississauga Board of Trade and the Metamorphosis Network, the debate will give Mississauga voters the chance to hear the candidates speak about the key issues facing the city. The debate will be held on May 29 at Sheridan’s Hazel McCallion Campus and will be livestreamed. Stay tuned for more information!

A $10M investment in community

We are honoured by EY Canada’s commitment to the fight against poverty, exemplified by a transformational $10 million multi-year gift to United Way. As demand for services increases due to the affordability crisis and high housing costs, this generous five-year gift will go a long way. As our President and CEO Daniele Zanotti said, “Through this $10 million gift, EY is helping United Way ensure access to services across the GTA, that food pantries are stocked for the next family, and workplace training is available for youth, including newcomer youth, who are eager to start their careers.”

Illustration of people and how they connect to SID

Using social identity data equitably

Social identity data (SID), information on identity, including gender, race, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, sexual orientation and immigration status, can help community and social service agencies target their efforts to better serve diverse communities — when it’s implemented well. Isabel Cascante, our Director of Research, Public Policy and Evaluation, takes a closer look at a new United Way case study that explores what it will take to collect and apply SID effectively, equitably and more consistently across the social services sector.

Update from the Frontlines

Syed wears a safety vest and holds a hardhat while standing in front of a jobsite.

Connecting people to good jobs

Syed struggled to find a full-time job in his field when he first arrived in the GTA in 2021, so he began making food deliveries on his bike. Then, a career counsellor at The Neighbourhood Organization, a United Way-supported agency, told him about ILEO’s Aecon-Golden Mile (A-GM) joint venture, a community-owned construction company that offers hands-on training. After graduating from the six-week program, Syed got a job there, and now works as a project coordinator. A-GM is just one example of how ILEO is making sure Scarborough residents can benefit from developments and infrastructure projects coming to their neighbourhood.

An entrepreneur from United Way's Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Storefront Starter program standing at a booth featuring their products.

ILEO at the One of a Kind show

Eight entrepreneurs from Scarborough’s Greater Golden Mile neighbourhood were up bright and early a few weekends ago to showcase their unique products at this year’s One of a Kind spring show. The small businesses are part of United Way’s Inclusive Local Economic Opportunity (ILEO) Storefront Starter programWatch their interview on CP24 to learn more about the support they received through the program and their success so far.

Get Involved

The words Between the Lines Book Club written over an image of stacks of books.

Join our book club!

Calling all bookworms! Do you enjoy discussing a great book with others who share your love of reading? Then you’re going to love the new United Way Book Club: Between the Lines. Meet once a season to dive deep into some outstanding books that touch on the issues facing our community, then join a dynamic conversation with an issue expert from United Way. Register now to save your spot and learn more about our first meeting!

National Volunteer Week

United Way volunteers help with everything from our CN Tower climb and running workplace campaigns to getting much needed supplies out into the community. They have a huge impact on our communities, and we’re so proud to celebrate them this National Volunteer Week. If you want to volunteer but aren’t sure how to get started, get some inspiration from these incredible volunteers who collectively have 100 years of volunteering. And check out the following opportunities:

Save the date: 2024 Annual General Meeting

We’re pleased to announce that we will be hosting our 2024 Annual General Meeting on June 19, 2024. It’s an opportunity for the United Way community to come together to celebrate the accomplishments of the past year and look to the work ahead. We’ll be sending out more details shortly — so keep an eye out!

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