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June 1, 2000
Hotel Program Guarantees Jobs for Toronto Youth
Guaranteed employment. Two words not often seen together these days. But thanks
to the new HELP for Youth (Hotel Employment Leadership Program), young people
with disabilities and youth receiving social assistance benefits will be
graduating straight into jobs in major Toronto area hotels.

The groundbreaking initiative was announced this morning by program partners
the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA), Goodwill Toronto, the Ontario
Ministry of Community and Social Services, the City of Toronto Social Services
Division and the Ontario Tourism Education Corporation (OTEC). Ontario
Community and Social Services Minister John Baird and Toronto City Councillor
Brad Duguid were on hand at the Crowne Plaza Toronto Centre for the program

The Greater Toronto Hotel Association brought the project to the partners,
recognizing its shared responsibility to connect young people with jobs. "As an
industry, we are proud to take the lead on such an innovative project," says
GTHA President Rod Seiling. "Hopefully this pilot will provide us with valuable
employees and provide the youth of Toronto with new career opportunities. There
is no doubt that the skills gained by these young people will serve them well
into the 21st century."

Having completed eight weeks of classroom training at Goodwill, this week the
students are moving into six months of paid on-the-job training in area
hotels. These include the Crowne Plaza Toronto Centre, Toronto Colony, Toronto
Hilton, Sheraton Centre, Westin Harbour Castle, The Four Seasons, and Holiday
Inn Yorkdale. Upon graduation from the training program, students are
guaranteed jobs as reservations sales agents, housekeeping room attendants,
guest services representatives, office assistants and dish washers.

"This program model is a prime example of government, community and corporate
Canada working together to create meaningful career opportunities for
individuals facing obstacles to entering the workforce, enabling them to
enhance their quality of life and embark on a satisfying career," says Ron
Cooper, Goodwill Board Chairman.

The initiative is funded by the City of Toronto Social Services Division's
Ontario Works program and by the Ontario Government's Ontario Disability
Support Program (ODSP). The recruitment process, intense customer service
training, employability skills training and follow up are facilitated by
Goodwill Toronto. Service Excellence, an interactive front-line customer
service training program, and an industry-specific module are delivered by the
Ontario Tourism Education Corporation.

"This partnership is providing unemployed youth with opportunities to gain
practical skills and work experience," says John Baird, Minister of Community
and Social Services. "It is this kind of community collaboration that can
really make a difference in young people's lives."

"The City of Toronto is proud to sponsor this innovative initiative that brings
together government, the private sector and the community. HELP for Youth gives
youth a chance at a career in the booming hotel and tourism industry," says
Councillor Brad Duguid, chair of the City Toronto City Council's Community
Services Committee.

"Technology can be a powerful tool in job training programs," said Bob Morine,
Vice President and General Manager, Public Sector, IBM Canada Ltd. "As the
program's Technology Sponsor, IBM Canada is pleased to have provided the PC 300
PL personal computers and Lexmark printer for HELP for Youth. This innovative
pilot project will help these young people build skills relevant to today's
employment opportunities, as well as equip them with critical knowledge for
their future."

For more information on this program contact Goodwill at 416-362-4711.

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