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The Daniels Corporation hosts Regent Park youth employment initiative to connect employers with Gen Z

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On March 7, The Daniels Corporation hosted an event in celebration of the 10th cohort of the Moving Towards Opportunity (MTO) initiative, a milestone in empowering Regent Park community youth and preparing them for meaningful employment opportunities.

The event, MTO: Connect and Celebrate!, featured panel discussions and networking activities, emphasizing the program’s impact and growth.

Developed in partnership with The Daniels Corporation, Toronto Community Housing and other community partners, MTO offers a 15-week employment readiness program followed by an eight-week paid work placement.

 

171 youth engaged, $525,000 in economic development created since 2015

 

Despite facing issues such as limited access to government funding, MTO has engaged 171 16-18-year-old participants since 2015 and collaborated with more than 51 employers across various industries, generating over $525,000 in local economic development.

Amid challenges like youth unemployment and pandemic-related disruptions, MTO has provided opportunities, including paid internships, to youth like Mishika Khurana, who now pursues higher education in urban development.

“There are just a lot of financial barriers for a lot of Regent Park residents, including myself,” says Khurana. “You didn’t really have the opportunity to take time outside of your school and do things like volunteer or do unpaid internships. And that was another component of the MTO program that I really liked. It was paid experience.

I would probably have been working at a retail store or a customer service job that summer. But instead, I got to get the experience that aligned directly with my educational goals,” she recalls about her 2019 experience. 

 

Program valued for role in shaping youth and identifying future talent

 

Employers, like CORE Architects Inc., value the program’s role in shaping youth and identifying future talent. The program’s success highlights the importance of investing in young talent and fostering inclusive, resilient communities.

“MTO is a great support for the youth, especially in Regent Park. That was the exciting part for us to join the program. That we could play a role in helping shape youth from that community and opening their eyes, by giving them a taste of the realities of a work environment,” says Sepideh Eslahjou, director of operations at CORE Architects Inc.

“We must invest to attract new and good talent. Even if the youth move on to university after the internship, it’s a win-win because you could find a bright student through MTO, who is very compatible with the company, and passionate about what they are learning, and keep hiring that person every summer outside of MTO because they are talent worth investing in.”

 


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