Summer Job Programs A Success In Hamilton



    Part Of McGuinty Government Strategy To Provide More Opportunities
    For Youth

    HAMILTON, ON, Aug. 30 /CNW/ - One hundred and ninety-eight youth from
underserved communities in Hamilton have successfully completed summer job
placements as part of the McGuinty government's Summer Jobs for Youth Program
and Youth in Policing Initiative, MPP for Hamilton West Judy Marsales
announced today on behalf of Minister of Children and Youth Services Mary Anne
Chambers.
    "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 Marsales at
an event hosted by the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington, the coordinator of the
Summer Jobs for Youth Program. "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."
    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
Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa, London and Thunder Bay.
    "This program has really filled a need in these neighbourhoods,
specifically for those youth who have never worked before," said Lily Lumsden,
General Manager of Career Development and Learning at the YMCA of
Hamilton/Burlington. "Employers have been very supportive and have helped
these young people experience success."
    "This ground-breaking program has exceeded all expectations," said
Hamilton Police Service Chief Brian Mullan. "The 13 youth who worked with us
were a real asset to our organization, and we know that they equally benefited
with the skills and knowledge they acquired during the eight-week program."
    The Summer Jobs for Youth Program in Hamilton provided 185 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, 13
youth ages 14 to 17 worked with the Hamilton Police Service in a number of
areas, including Records, Training and Division One Support.
    "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 Hamilton, the Hamilton
Training Advisory Board and community leaders to identify neighbourhoods in
Hamilton that could benefit most from these programs. They are Gibson and
McQuesten in the east and Gibson in the west.

    
    Disponible en français

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


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

                   YOUTH OPPORTUNITIES STRATEGY IN HAMILTON
    

    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 $875,000 annually starting this
year to improve outcomes for youth in underserved communities in Hamilton. 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 Hamilton, Windsor, Ottawa,
London and Thunder Bay.
    The strategy includes the following initiatives in Hamilton:

    Summer Jobs for Youth Program

    The Summer Jobs for Youth Program provided approximately 185 young people
ages 15 to 18 with the job readiness skills they need to build confidence 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 the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington.

    Youth in Policing Initiative

    The Youth in Policing Initiative provided opportunities for 13 youth ages
14 to 17 to work with the Hamilton Police Service during the 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.
Approximately 160 young people worked with local police services across the
province this summer.
    Hamilton participants worked with crime analysts and for the Graffiti
Team, Records, Cyclemania, Division One Support, Training and the Traffic
Office.

    Youth Outreach Worker Program

    The Youth Outreach Worker Program employs seven 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 Hamilton, the program is coordinated by Wesley Urban Ministries.

    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.

    
    Disponible en français

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





For further information:

For further information: Tricia Edgar, Minister's Office, (416)
212-7161, (416) 571-7247 (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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