Aug 29, 2012

Youth from at-risk neighbourhoods experience their first jobs

On August 29, 256 youth from  at-risk neighbourhoods in the Ottawa region came to celebrate what they accomplished in their first summer jobs. The event marked their graduation from the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa’s (YSB) Summer Jobs for Youth employment program.

The program offers job training and helps youth ages 15 to 18 to find work with local businesses and organizations. The youth are all from traditionally disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Ottawa East, Ottawa Central West, Ottawa South and Ottawa West.

In times of unusually high youth unemployment rates, the program has given these young people their first job experience, and the pride of earning their first paycheque.

For many young people who face barriers to entering the workforce, YSB’s Summer Jobs for Youth program gives them the tools for long-term employment success.

“The Youth Services Bureau Summer Jobs for Youth program changes the lives of young people in our community," said YSB Executive Director Joanne Lowe. "The program opens doors for them to gain valuable experience that will build towards their future. This program is about investing in new opportunities for youth, and creating in them a life-long taste for the satisfaction of a job well done.”

“The youth were well trained and very well prepared for their employment. They showed a great amount of enthusiasm during their employment at the Accora Centre,” said local employer Accora Village’s  Sana Qureshi. “We are looking forward to next year!” she added.

The program is part of Ontario’s Youth Opportunities Strategy, with support from the federal government, that enables more than 5,000 youth from 19 priority communities across the province to gain valuable work experience that will help them reach their full potential and contribute to the well-being of their communities.

Youth were treated to a “graduation” celebration complete with certificates, speeches and a meal.

About YSB
The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa delivers employment programs to youth and families in Ottawa in addition to mental health, housing and homelessness, and youth justice programs. Every month, YSB serves between 2,500 and 3,000 youth and families.