Another myth to break: Entrepreneurs and private sector not the only youth employers and economic drivers
Toronto Star, Letter to the Editor – October 17, 2018
There’s another myth to break when it comes to youth employment (Premier Kathleen Wynne, “Time to bust myths about youth unemployment”, Wednesday, October 16, 2013): it’s not just governments and businesses who can provide creative job strategies to revive the economy. The Ontario nonprofit sector is already playing a central role and is a catalyst for change.
As an economic driver, the nonprofit sector has an impact of nearly $50 billion through 46,000+ organizations across the province. Community nonprofits represent 2.6% of Ontario’s GDP, greater than the auto manufacturing and retail industries. The sector is also a central source for employment, employing 600,000 people.
Nonprofits not only provide effective training, resources and job opportunities for youth, they are a dynamic and valuable employer of youth. There is a mutual benefit to working with the nonprofit sector to tackle youth unemployment. As employers we need and want to hire younger talent to ensure our sector’s future success. By employing younger people, we can provide them with the opportunity for rich and varied experiences and, at the same time, their contributions will expand our sector’s capacity to generate positive community results and outcomes in the areas of arts and culture, sports and recreation, community development, environmental protection and so much more.
In Premier Wynne’s address at the ONN Conference in Toronto last month, the Premier highlighted that at recent government discussions on job creation, “some of the most compelling insights we got from the roundtables were from the nonprofit sector”.
The sector has already demonstrated its capacity to be both a central employer and a deliverer of vital services. The Youth Jobs Strategy has started the ball rolling, and the nonprofit sector is ready to get to work- alongside governments and businesses- to develop innovative and sustainable solutions to youth unemployment.
Cathy Taylor, Ontario Nonprofit Network