Positive spaces, leadership training and employment preparation are giving youth in priority neighbourhoods a leg up through the HCF-supported Growing Youth Leaders project.
The project is a partnership between the City of Hamilton’s recreation division and Riverdale and McQuesten neighbourhood residents and community development workers. The goal is to provide local youth with the necessary experience and skills to gain employment including recreational programming and leadership training and certification.
Research from the Social Planning & Research Council underscores the importance of this project: youth is Hamilton’s fastest growing population, but many face issues associated with poverty including not completing high school and longer-term unemployment. Job training, experience and opportunities help to address these risks.
Thirty-five hours of instruction including first-aid training, employment readiness and principles of healthy child development are designed to introduce youth to jobs in recreation and to build new skills. Participants have the opportunity to volunteer in a City of Hamilton rec centre, and all program graduates of are guaranteed an interview for paid recreation positions with the City.
Excerpt from Summer 2016 Legacy newsletter