Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25, 2011


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Programs Will Complement Major New After-school Program: Selinger
A new host of programs designed to help keep Manitoba youth engaged in school, active in their communities and supported with the tools they need to succeed are beginning to be rolled out, Premier Greg Selinger announced today at Westwood Collegiate.
“These programs, Work2it, Youth Making a Difference Grant Programs and Manitoba Mentors -Connecting Learning and Work, will help get our high-school students and youth on the path to success,” said Selinger.  “Our youth are our future and we need to keep investing in programs that help them achieve their full potential.  Ensuring they have access to education and supports to stay on the right track will build a stronger Manitoba for all of us.”
Work2it will offer supports to youth facing multiple personal barriers to training and employment.  Starting as a pilot this fall in Winnipeg and The Pas, Work2it will provide pre-employment training, job coaching and employment opportunities for at-risk youth through partnerships with two community organizations, New Directions for Children, Youth, Adults and Families in Winnipeg and FireSpirit in The Pas.  The program will expand over the next three years and at full capacity will serve up to 345 youth, the premier said.
The new Youth Making a Difference Grant Programs will provide students and youth working with educators or adult supervisors from youth serving organizations with up to $1,000 to develop and implement social-justice and community development projects in their schools and communities.  The program will offer an opportunity for youth to develop and practise skills including leadership, communication and interpersonal skills.  The deadline for applications is Nov. 10.  More information and applications are available at
Manitoba Mentors -Connecting Learning and Work was launched at the beginning of this school year in seven schools across Manitoba.  Working in partnership with the Alliance of Manitoba Sector Councils, the three-year pilot project will see students matched with employers who will provide group mentoring, speakers’ panels, site visits to employers and businesses, small group discussions and one-to-one mentoring through job shadowing, internships and job placements.
“We’re thrilled to be part of Manitoba Mentors, an exciting new program that helps students gain further knowledge with regards to the requirements and expectations of their professional interests and aspirations,” said Mike Wake, principal, Westwood Collegiate.  “Manitoba Mentors is a true extension of the classroom, which hopefully will provide further direction to our young people on their journey to productive citizenship.”
Selinger noted these programs will complement another innovative new youth program, modelled on the successful Chicago After School Matters program.  The new program will see the Manitoba government partner with businesses, professional associations and community organizations to provide high-school students with after-school training and apprenticeship opportunities in fields like sports, performing arts, technology, communications and science.
“The more we can promote positive activities for young people and help keep our kids busy after school, the brighter their futures will be.  By working together, we can create an environment where every kid in Manitoba has a chance to succeed,” the premier said.
The premier noted these programs were formed based on advice and recommendations from the Premiers Economic Advisory Council and consultations with community leaders and community organizations.
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