The YMCA wants to connect youth with jobs

The YMCA North York Employment and Newcomer Office (Job Connect Division) will host a New Year work opportunity intake session for youth at 4580 Dufferin Street, 2nd floor (located near the north-west corner of Dufferin Street and Finch Avenue West, about a five minute bus ride from Downsview subway station) on Thursday, January 14.

The session will begin at 11 a.m. and conclude by 3 p.m.

Their ambitious and much needed goal is to help over 500 youth to find work. The event is free and funded by Employment Ontario and United Way Toronto.

Job seekers can discover full-time work prospects in such areas as customer service, retail sales, general labour, banking and office administration, depending on their skills-set.

“We assist youth who are out of school or work, with barriers, social service recipients, and newcomers to Canada. Most of them are in-between jobs, while others are underemployed,” explains outreach specialist Vernal Banton. “With the current economy, being gainfully employed can be very challenging, especially for youth, since most of them lack experience and training.

“Regrettably, ever since the last minimum-wage increase, employers are more selective; consequently, youth are finding it difficult to compete.”

Toronto’s unemployment rate peaked at a towering 10.7 per cent in July. According to Statistics Canada, the economic situation prompted the highest jobless rate in Toronto in almost 15 years. As a direct correlation, the typical jobs that have been dominated by youth were taken by laid-off adults; unfortunately, both youth and adults have been drastically affected, as a result.

The YMCA North York Job Connect office has decided to take a proactive approach to assist youth with the multi-facets of employability, not just résumé, cover letter, interview skills, and passing probation help. And although their priority is geared to youth who are 16 to 24 seeking full-time employment, they also have supports in place to accommodate individuals who are looking for part-time jobs, and adults who are facing employment barriers.

“Parents, social agencies, youth and religious groups are encouraged to refer and register their youth,” says Banton. “2010 introduces a new and exciting year and decade.

“Make it a new and exciting you – with a job!”

For more information, visit or call Banton at (416) 566-6028.


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