Pearson Airport in Mississauga gives $387,000 to tackle underemployment

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Published October 25, 2022 at 3:58 pm

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which runs Pearson Airport in Mississauga, has given $387,000 to six organizations to help fight underemployment in communities surrounding Canada’s busiest airport.

The money, delivered via the GTAA’s 2022 Uplift Fund, will fund programs designed to break down barriers to employment and
cultivate opportunity for communities around Pearson.

The Uplift Fund is an ongoing initiative that seeks to combat specific workforce issues in areas of Mississauga, Brampton and Toronto located near the airport.

“From providing employment opportunities to Ukrainian newcomers and mentoring for jobs in aviation to opening pathways to careers in the arts, our commitment to surrounding communities has never been stronger,” GTAA officials said in a news release today (Oct. 25).

After an extensive evaluation period, the GTAA decided on six recipients of its 2022 Uplift Fund:

  • Urban Pilots Network’s Top Flyers Canada program prepares Black and racialized youth for entry-level employment with leading aviation agencies
  • ACCES Employment’s Ukrainian Newcomer Assistance Program provides employment service supports to recent Ukrainian newcomers
  • Brands for Canada’s Suitable Impressions Program is a first impressions-focused employment program that coaches participants to succeed in a job interview
  • Blue Door Support Services’ Construct Program recruits, trains and employs motivated individuals to learn and work on-site with qualified tradespeople to prepare for a career in the construction industry
  • JAYU’s iAM is a free, eight-week employment arts and culture training program for equity-deserving youth which allows them to access career paths that would have otherwise been unavailable to them
  • Shakespeare in Action’s Backstage Centre Technical Apprenticeship is an innovative performing arts technical skills development program that provides paid job training in theatre production for youth aged 15 to 30

“We’re delighted to announce this year’s Uplift Fund recipients, who work to lift up the communities we serve,” said Robyn Connelly, the GTAA’s director of sustainability and social impact. “Although COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our business, it has also disproportionally impacted our neighbours. We’re looking forward to working collaboratively with these like-minded organizations to address underemployment, and in doing so support a strong post-pandemic recovery for the Greater Toronto Area.”

Earlier this year, interested organizations were invited by the GTAA to apply for up to $75,000 in funding for one-year projects.

Underemployment is the underuse of a worker because a job:

  • does not use the worker’s skills (overqualified for a job)
  • is part-time (despite the worker wanting full-time employment)
  • leaves the worker idle for periods of time

GTAA officials say the Uplift Fund has been investing in programming, advocacy and research since 2018 to support efforts of area residents to gain the skills, connections and opportunities needed to be meaningfully employed.

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