Approximately 250 local students, employers, exhibitors, parents, sponsors, post-secondary institutions and supporters attended the first “Make Your Future” event at St. Basil-the-Great College School to hear inspirational speakers and talk about potential careers for young people in the Jane-Finch area.
The afternoon event was so successful, organizers are already at work planning “Make Your Future 2” for spring, 2019.
“We want young people to know employers are looking for help, we are looking to hire,” said Kevin Green of Greenwin Inc. “The jobs are out there, and you can do them. We want to help you plan to make your futures now, while you are still in school, and later after you graduate.”
Exhibitors hoping to hire at the first Make Your Future event included Greenwin Inc.; Intelligarde; the Department of National Defence; Toronto Police; Toronto Fire; and Peel EMS. Unions who had tables at the event included construction trades; film production; sheet metal and painting. The Labourers International Union of North America (LIUNA) brought a huge training trailer and staff to educate kids on opportunities in the trades. Sousa Truck Repair was on site to promote jobs in heavy-truck mechanics.
Educational organizations including the Ontario College Application Service; York; University of Toronto; Seneca College; Centennial College and Brock University were also there. The day was divided into two sections: the program presentation in the auditorium, and the exhibit portion in the gym.
Master of Ceremonies Spider Jones oversaw the proceedings onstage, introducing Inspector Colin Greenaway of 31 Division; Sergeant Jesus Castillo of the Department of National Defence (and a graduate of St. Basil’s); the Honourable Sylvia Jones, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services; Farley Flex and Roderick Brereton of Urban Rez; and Leo Barbe of “Think, Don’t Shoot.”
“You are the future,” Minister Jones told the students. “We want to support you in building your careers – we are behind you all the way.” St. Basil’s principal Ugo Rossi, his team of custodians and audio/visual department were on hand to help all day. Lunch was donated by Pizza Pizza and Durante’s No Frills.
“We think that as a pilot, November 17 went great,” said Inspector Colin Greenaway of 31 Division. “Now, we are looking at how we can identify the best location, best time of year, and best program to make it available to the maximum number of kids and employers possible.”
Greenaway noted that the contributions of supporters and volunteers were outstanding: “The enthusiasm was fantastic. We want to make sure young people know that employers want to hire them and need to hire them. Bringing them together in this way seems like a winning idea.”