Posted Tuesday May 19, 2020

Work Ed.

YouthForce hiring on hold; workshops offered virtually

A program that aims to break the cycle of poverty and create opportunities for youth is regrettably unable to hire for the summer due to COVID-19.

The decision to suspend the employment part of YouthForce was made by the Region of Waterloo and the program’s lead agency, Kinbridge Community Association.

YouthForce employs youth who live in or near community housing to work in their neighborhoods over the summer while building skills to help with their future careers.

Much of the work involves inspections in people’s homes and outdoor cleanup, which would be a concern for the health and safety of youth and tenants during COVID-19.

Recruitment through job fairs, which usually happened in March, was not possible due to Public Health guidelines and the Province’s physical distancing orders.

YouthForce is expected to resume hiring next year. Until then, the program will continue to facilitate pre-employment and life skills workshops to help prepare youth for entry into the workforce.

Workshops include resume building, interview skills, confidence building, communication, career exploration, and applying to post secondary school.

Youth can register through social media (Instagram: @mayyouthforcebewithyou, Facebook: YouthForce community, or Twitter: YouthForceWR).

YouthForce is a partnership between the Region of Waterloo, Kinbridge Community Association, Carizon, Greenway Chaplin Community Centre, and Langs.

The program is working towards becoming a social enterprise with funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and received a provincial innovation award in 2019.

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