Provincial $2M grant to train Lincoln youth on helping local businesses tech needs

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Published August 5, 2021 at 3:49 pm

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It was announced today (August 5) that the Town of Lincoln was receiving $2 million from Ontario’s Skills Development Fund, which will help prepare 90 local youth for the workforce and support local employers with affordable access to talent and resources that will help grow their businesses.

The Town’s Economic Development Department will be using the provincial funding to develop a Youth Skills Studio in partnership with Civiconnect, a non-profit organization that connects youth and the private sector to their communities to maximize their social impact through technology, innovation, and strategy.

The Youth Skills Studio will provide 60,000 hours of work-integrated learning to 90 youth aged 15 to 29 working on 75 initiatives for local businesses. These work-integrated learning projects will enable local businesses to connect with youth who will provide digital services for their businesses, including:

  • Digital systems administration
  • Digital marketing
  • Web development

“Connecting young people with opportunities in technology is vital to kick starting their careers while helping small business owners deal with the impacts of COVID-19,” said Monte McNaughton, Ontario’s Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development at today’s announcement.

“This training program is a win-win for young workers and local businesses looking for help expanding online. This investment meets the challenges of today while training our young workers in the technology of tomorrow,” McNaughton concluded.

Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton said the pandemic showed local businesses the desperate need for online technology know-how just to make it through the past 18 months.

“The pandemic has shown us that businesses are in need of digital innovation and education to ensure their survival and growth in 2021 and beyond,” said Easton. “This initiative will allow us to support our local businesses in facing this changing COVID-19 landscape, prepare youth for job opportunities and build upon Lincoln’s vision to be a place to grow, prosper and belong.”

Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopoulos says that even before COVID-19, Town Council and staff knew that youth employment was a key element to economic growth and success.

“The pandemic has further compounded youth unemployment and underemployment, and we look forward to tackling this issue with the Youth Skills Studio here in Lincoln,” he added.

Finally, Paul Di Ianni, Lincoln’s Director of Economic Development said residents had to understand the importance of a financial contribution of this size.

“This is the largest non-infrastructure-related investment the Town of Lincoln has ever seen,” said Di Ianni. “This investment will go a long way towards supporting the Town’s Economic Development Strategy, which identified youth employment and retention as a major component to supporting Lincoln’s economy.”

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