The province is investing $14 million to support black youth and entrepreneurs

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Black Youth Action Plan will help youth access job opportunities and career-building resources, officials say; Information events planned

The Ontario government is investing an additional $14 million in the Black Youth Action Plan to improve youth access to job opportunities and career-building resources.

Funding will be used to create a new economic empowerment program that will support community organizations and Black-owned businesses to create local projects that provide the skills youth need to find jobs in high-growth sectors.

“The Black Youth Action Plan is an example of the kind of Ontario government commitment that allows for the dismantling of systems that prevent black youth and professionals from succeeding,” said Patrick Harriot-Stewart, owner of Romaan Events and project manager of SEMBA awards.

“Nonprofit organizations like SEMBA (Simcoe Excellence Multicultural Business Award) have taken an innovative approach to ensure these efforts are recognized and recognized, while encouraging black youth to contribute to the economic growth of their communities,” said Harriot-Stewart.

“It’s fantastic that the Ontario government has created a resource for young black entrepreneurs, but it’s imperative that they make these resources accessible to them,” said Shanicka Edwards, founder of Shak’s World Community Center in Barrie.

“Our government ensures all Ontarians have access to the tools they need to build successful careers, including skills development and professional mentorship,” said Parm Gill, Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism. “It is imperative that we build an inclusive, forward-thinking workforce where everyone has equal access to jobs and opportunities that will help support our province in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The Economic Empowerment Program includes three new initiatives that enable community organizations and Black-led employers and business leaders to design programs that help Black youth and young professionals achieve social and economic success by creating pathways to employment:

  • The Career Launch initiative will support locally developed programs that help Black children and youth access professional networks and develop skills in high-opportunity areas
  • The Career Advance initiative will connect black youth and young professionals with apprenticeship and internship opportunities in high-opportunity industries
  • The Sector-Innovation Networks support black business leaders in high-growth economic sectors.

Community organizations and companies can apply for funding under the Career Launch initiative beginning February 23. Information is available online. Applications for the Career Advance and Sector Innovation Networks initiative will open on March 9th and March 23rd respectively.

The Black Youth Action Plan works to eliminate systemic, racial differences by improving social and economic opportunities for Black children, youth and families across the province. By building a more inclusive workforce, the province continues to serve workers on the path to economic recovery.

The Ontario government is investing $32 million in new net funds, bringing our investment in the now expanded Black Youth Action Plan to $60 million.

This new funding includes $28 million over two years for new economic empowerment initiatives to strengthen black communities and help black youth reach their full potential.

The three new initiatives will enable community organizations and Black-led employers and business leaders to develop programs that serve Black youth and young professionals. It is imperative that we build an inclusive, forward-thinking workforce where everyone has equal access to jobs and opportunities that will help support our province as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

To register for a virtual community informational session for each of the funding initiatives, contact [email protected]

Information events will take place on the following dates:

  • Career Launch – Week of February 28, 2022
  • Career Advancement – Week of March 14, 2022
  • Industry Innovation Networks – Week of March 28, 2022

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