Government of Canada helps youth in St. Catharines overcome barriers to employment

Goodwill Industries Niagara receives $1.2 million in Skills Link funding

ST. CATHARINES, ON, July 12, 2017 /CNW/ - When Canada's most vulnerable youth get the help they need to develop their skills and find good jobs, our middle class grows and our economy thrives.

Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced that the Government of Canada will invest close to $1.2 million in Goodwill Industries Niagara's Constructing our Future project. This project will help 80 vulnerable youth get the skills and knowledge they need to overcome barriers to employment, develop essential job skills or return to school.

Project participants will attend workshops that focus on résumé writing, job search and interview techniques, job maintenance skills, workplace safety and practices, construction health and safety and how to use tools safely. Participants will also be placed with an employer where they will gain work experience in a variety of sectors including the service industry, manufacturing, landscaping, electrical, carpentry and masonry.

Minister Hajdu made the announcement at Goodwill Industries Niagara, accompanied by Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines.


"Helping vulnerable youth develop essential job skills will allow them to thrive in the workforce. Our government is firmly focused on inclusive growth, which means ensuring that every Canadian has a fair shot at success. Through this Skills Link funding, vulnerable youth in St. Catharines will get the support they need to have a successful future."
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

"Today's Skills Link announcement is an important investment in the next generation of Canadians. The funding that our government has announced today will ensure young people have the skills they need in an ever-changing economy. As well, programs like Skills Link have an important poverty reduction component. By ensuring young people are prepared to enter the workforce, we are contributing to their self-sufficiency, giving them the opportunity to begin an independent chapter in their lives."
Chris Bittle, Member of Parliament for St. Catharines

"Our Constructing our Future program provides theoretical and practical skilled trades training to at-risk youth. In addition to learning the skilled trades, participants get the employment skills and job placements they need to get started in their new careers. Helping people reach their full potential and eliminating barriers to opportunities are very important to Goodwill because when you improve the quality of life of individuals and families it creates a stronger community."
Laura Hills, President and CEO, Goodwill Industries Niagara

Quick Facts

  • Each year the Government invests more than $330 million in the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) to help young people gain the skills, abilities and work experience they need to find and maintain good employment.
  • Total funding for YES was increased by $278 million in 2016–17, representing the largest investment since its launch.
  • Budget 2017 will invest an additional $395.5 million over three years for YES, starting in 2017–18.

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SOURCE Employment and Social Development Canada

For further information: Matt Pascuzzo, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,, 819-654-5613; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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