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February 1, 2001
Small investment in youth pays big dividends
Toronto---At a special reception at the Air Canada Centre, host Ken Dryden
joined Councillor Chris Korwin-Kuczynski and other invited guests to celebrate
a job program that for 18 years has provided a future for almost 5,000 youth.
The Toronto Youth Job Corps is a unique partnership of government, business,
community groups and youth themselves. The program offers at-risk youth aged
16-30 a mix of work experience placements, employability skills workshops,
computer application workshops and supportive counselling. The goal is to
reintegrate at-risk youth into the community and into the workplace.

The program includes five-week Community Painting Project placements, where
youth can learn the basics of a regular work routine while helping their
community. The youth then participate in a 16-week job placement with a
business in the community. This placement offers valuable on-the-job experience
that helps youth become competitive in today's labour market. The program also
includes extensive follow-up and support once youth have completed these

"The Toronto Youth Job Corps combines the involvement of government, the
private sector and the community to help build a future for at-risk youth.
That's a winning combination," says Councillor Korwin-Kuczynski (Ward 14).

"Young people from across Canada gravitate to Toronto, viewing it as a centre
of opportunity, or just sensing that the street might be safer than their home.
The Job Corps provides these young people with an alternative to welfare,
prison or the street. And their record is impressive," says Cedric Ritchie,
Corporate Director and Former Chairman, Bank of Nova Scotia.

Almost 5,000 youth have completed the program. Once completing the program,
three out of every four youth have become employed, gone on to continue
education or pursued further training.

The Toronto Youth Job Corps is funded by Human Resources Development Canada
($1,200,834), the City of Toronto ($214,156) and a variety of corporate donors
and other partners. The cost for each youth to complete the program is $9,330
-- a small investment considering the potential that each youth is helped to
realize, and the future contribution each youth will make to the community.

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