Toronto Youth employment leadership awards presented

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NPower Canada, Starbucks Canada and Stephanie Cera Amenta of Campus Talent Acquisition at CIBC are the winners of the 2016  Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE) Leadership Awards. Toronto Mayor John Tory presented the awards at Toronto City Council on Wednseday.

Now in its second year, the PAYE Leadership Award recognizes individuals and organizations for their exceptional contributions to PAYE, a City of Toronto youth employment initiative championed by the Mayor, City Council and a number of high-profile private sector employers.

“In 2015, I challenged employers to step up and help us tackle youth unemployment in Toronto. Today, I’m happy to recognize those who have been vital to the successes we’ve had with PAYE,” said Mayor Tory. “Through their leadership, dedication and commitment, they have all demonstrated what it means to be leaders and ambassadors for PAYE, and I want to personally thank them for playing an important role in the development of Toronto’s future generation of leaders.”

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NPower Canada received the PAYE Leadership Award for Involvement. As a leader in designing and delivering employer-led information technology training for young people with barriers to employment, NPower Canada has advanced skill development, training and paid internship opportunities for more than 150 youth since 2014 and are now poised for a major expansion into York Region. About 80 per cent of NPower Canada’s graduates are now employed or pursuing higher education. Many have found work at the City of Toronto.

Stephanie Cera Amenta

Amenta received the PAYE Leadership Award for Influence. A member of the PAYE Board of Directors, Amenta is a key ambassador and a driving force behind PAYE expansion efforts in 2015. By reaching out to her network, making connections and influencing others to make concrete commitments to PAYE, Amenta’s leadership ensured that CIBC created more opportunities for young job seekers than any other financial sector organization in Toronto.

Stephanie Cera Amenta – @SCeraAmenta (picture on right) tweeted and posted a picture of her award: “Thank you for recognizing the PAYE Leadership award recipients at City Council today. A memorable day!”

Rossann Williams, President of Starbucks Canada, accepted the PAYE Leadership Award for Impact. Starbucks committed to hire 10 per cent of their Toronto store hires through PAYE in 2015, leading by example and challenging other employers to do the same. Through its efforts, Starbucks has provided employment to more than 160 Opportunity Youth who are now working at Starbucks locations throughout the city. Building on the success of the PAYE and Starbucks collaboration, in 2015 Starbucks expanded its 10 per cent commitment nationally – starting with Montreal and Vancouver.

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“It is an inspiration to hear about these kinds of partnerships between the private industry and the City because they demonstrate the kind of successes we can achieve when we work together,” said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. “The three PAYE Leadership Award recipients who were honoured today all contributed in their own way: by developing innovative training opportunities, providing job opportunities for youth and using their networks to engage even more employers to commit to PAYE.”

Council set ambitious targets in 2015 to double the number of PAYE employers to 80 and number of PAYE youth participants to 1000. PAYE exceeded those ambitious targets and successfully connected 2,118 youth 18 to 29 years of age from diverse neighbourhoods to job opportunities with some of the city’s top employers. At PAYE, unemployed youth are provided with individual guidance and coaching, and are connected to City and community-based services and supports. Qualified candidates are screened and matched to employment opportunities and connect face-to-face with hiring employers. – CINEWS

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