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



    Youth Gain Real Work Experience And Develop New Skills

    WINDSOR, ON, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - One hundred and ninety-four youth from
underserved Windsor communities gained valuable skills and work experience as
part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program, Essex MPP
Bruce Crozier 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
Crozier. "Through this program, youth are given positive options to improve
their life and job skills."
    "These young people in Windsor's underserved communities may have been
without employment this summer had it not been for our Summer Jobs for Youth
Program," said Windsor-Tecumseh MPP and Ministry of Energy Dwight Duncan.
"This program not only provides employment, it also prepares young people to
succeed in the future."
    "Summer Jobs for Youth participants gained invaluable skills and
experience this summer," said Windsor West MPP, Minister of Economic
Development and Trade and Minister Responsible for Women's Issues Sandra
Pupatello. "Summer Jobs employers also benefited from the program by gaining
hard-working team players."
    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 Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa,
London and Thunder Bay.
    "This summer's program has been a great success," said Dan Petoran,
Program Manager, New Beginnings. "We are pleased that so many employers were
receptive to providing these young people with rewarding summer job
experiences where they could gain valuable skills and training."
    "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 to 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 Windsor and the United Way of Windsor-Essex County - to
identify neighbourhoods in Windsor that could most benefit from these
programs. They are: Sandwich and City Centre in the west, and the Drouillard
Road area and the Forest Glade area in the east.

    
    Disponible en français

                           www.children.gov.on.ca
                             www.youthconnect.ca


    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                   YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN WINDSOR
    

    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 more than $860,000 annually starting this
year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Windsor. In
2006, the Youth Opportunities Strategy was implemented primarily in Toronto
and Durham Region neighbourhoods. In 2007, the strategy was continuing in
Toronto and Durham Region and has expanded to Windsor, Hamilton, Ottawa,
London and Thunder Bay.
    The strategy includes the following initiatives in Windsor:

    Summer Jobs for Youth Program

    The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided 194 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 New Beginnings.

    Youth in Policing Initiative

    The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for 10 youth ages
14 to 17 to work with the Windsor 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 encourages
them to consider policing as a future career option. More than 160 young
people worked with local police services across the province this summer.
    Windsor participants worked in a variety of areas, including the forensic
unit, technology services, the collision reporting centre and the crime
stoppers unit.

    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 Windsor, the program is also being coordinated by New Beginnings.

    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.

    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:

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

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ONTARIO MINISTRY OF CHILDREN AND YOUTH SERVICES

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