More than 200 summer job opportunities are about to open up for Toronto youth, thanks to more than $700,000 in new funding for the Canada Summer Jobs program.
Adam Vaughan, MP for Spadina-Fort York made the announcement Tuesday morning at Scadding Court Community Centre in the city's downtown core, flanked by several other Toronto MPs and students who have previously participated in the program.
"We need to ensure that at risk youth in neighbourhoods that are experiencing stress, that they all reach their potential," said Vaughan, making the announcement as Parliamentary Secretary on behalf of the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
"Supporting vulnerable youth means that they have the chance to work during the summer to pay for their education, to push themselves into a better spot going forward," he added.
The announcement was made after the politicians toured the community centre and met some of the program's participants.
Shariff Hamid, a participant in the Canada Summer Jobs program, gave a demonstration on microgreens — seedlings of traditional vegetables with four times the nutrients — and helped Vaughan, along with others plant their own.
Hamid highlighted the importance of the program and the funding Scadding Court gets, saying that prior to his involvement he "would not have known anything about microgreens, now I may start my own business."
Scadding Court provides an array of services to low-income families, at-risk children and youth, newcomers, people living with disabilities and seniors.
"The program here has given me an opportunity to use what I've learned in school," said James Rutland, a marketing student at the University of Toronto.
A total of 51 organizations have been approved to receive new funding. They're located in the following ridings:
- Humber River-Black Creek
- York-South Weston
- Spadina-Fort York
- Toronto Centre
- York Centre
The Canada Summer Jobs program is part of the federal government's Youth Employment Strategy (YES), which according to the ministry, has helped more than 820,000 Canadian youth get training and work experience prior to entering the job market.
As part of the 2017 budget, the government plans to invest $395.5 million in YES over three years, starting in 2017-2018.