Funding available for initiatives that help youth build careers
TORONTO –The Ontario government is investing an additional $14 million in the Black Youth Action Plan to help youth access employment opportunities and career-building resources. The funding will be used to create a new economic empowerment program that will help community organizations and Black-led businesses create local projects that provide the skills youth need to find jobs in high-growth sectors.
“Our government is making sure all Ontarians have access to the tools they need to build successful careers, including skills development and professional mentorship,” said Parm Gill, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “It is imperative we build an inclusive, future-forward workforce where everyone has equitable access to jobs and opportunities which will help support our province in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The economic empowerment program includes three new initiatives that will enable community organizations and Black-led employer and business leaders to design programs that help Black youth and young professionals achieve social and economic success by building pathways to jobs:
- The Career Launch initiative will support locally developed programs that help Black children and youth access professional networks and skills development in high opportunity fields
- The Career Advance initiative will connect Black youth and young professionals with training and work placement opportunities in high opportunity industries
- The Sector-Innovation Networks support Black business leaders in high-growth sectors of the economy.
Community organizations and businesses can apply for funding under the Career Launch initiative beginning February 23. Information is available online. Applications for the Career Advance initiative and Sector Innovation Networks will open on March 9 and March 23, respectively.
The Black Youth Action Plan works toward eliminating systemic, race-based disparities by increasing social and economic opportunities for Black children, youth and families across the province. By building a more inclusive workforce, the province continues to work for workers on the road to economic recovery.
- In addition to the economic empowerment stream, the Black Youth Action Plan (BYAP) supports culturally focused parenting and mentorship programs.
- In alignment with the commitment to redesign Ontario’s child welfare system, the province is re-investing $1.5 million into BYAP initiatives that increase access to local, culturally relevant supports. The funding will expand the Innovative Supports for Black Parents programs and provide capacity-building resources to the Network for Advancement of Black Communities. This will allow Black community partners and families to have a voice in how child, youth and family services are designed and delivered in their communities.
- BYAP programs are delivered by over 70 community-based and culturally-focused community partners and currently support more than 10,800 individuals in target communities across the province, including Ottawa, Windsor and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
- Ontario is investing more than $77 million a year to support employers to hire apprentices from underrepresented groups. The investment will fund projects focusing on empowering workers and job seekers who face higher barriers of entry and enhance pathways into meaningful and gainful employment.
- Ontario is also supporting community-based anti-racism initiatives to combat all forms of racism and hate, including anti-Black racism, with a $3.2 million investment over two years in the Anti-Racism and Anti-Hate Grant program.
“Economic empowerment is key for families to thrive and communities to grow. The enhanced Black Youth Action Plan has prioritized economic empowerment initiatives so black youth can pursue meaningful careers in dynamic industries. We thank all of the community partners who contributed their insights and expertise, including the Dream Legacy Foundation, Network for the Advancement of Black Communities, Youth Research and Evaluation Exchange, and Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity. “
– Jamil Jivani
Ontario’s Advocate for Community Opportunities and Chair of Premier’s Council on Equality of Opportunity