An OCH Foundation project will get a boost thanks to the Ottawa Community Foundation and the New Leaf Challenge. This project, named Youth+, will join the offerings of Youth Futures, a youth leadership program, and Global Vision, an international youth program aimed at providing youth the experience they need to start on a career path.
The Ottawa Community Foundation (OCF) launched the New Leaf Community Challenge (NLCC) in 2014 as an innovative way to encourage and substantially support strategic approaches to pressing local issues. This year’s theme was youth unemployment, and looked to address the youth unemployment rate that has been twice that of the general public, over the last 10 years.
“It’s hard enough for post secondary students to find work, let alone those in high school”, said Ian MacKichan, Business Analyst and Program Developer for the OCH Foundation, “Technology is constantly redefining the labour market, and the earlier we can impart in-demand, evergreen skill-sets, the better.”
The Youth+ program will support 180 youth from diverse, low-income backgrounds to pursue careers in Ottawa’s fastest growing industries such as IT, clean technology, and tourism. Youth+ will offer industry roundtables, local industry tours, internship opportunities, training in areas such as leadership and entrepreneurship, and opportunities for life-changing experiences at both national and international levels.
“This partnership is a game-changer for disadvantaged youth living in our city,” says Howard Whittaker, Executive Director, with the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation, “By aligning the strengths of Global Vision and Youth Futures, we are able to realize new employment and career development opportunities, as a part of a sustainable platform.”