MTO in Regent Park
For 50 years Regent Park was a low-income community comprised entirely of social housing and is now being revitalized into a mixed-income neighbourhood. One of the key elements to the success of the Revitalization is the social development of the community including the need to create employment opportunities for youth.
Regent Park has a very large youth population. As of 2006, the youth unemployment rate for Regent Park was 27.3%. We expect that the current rate is higher. The MTO team believes that by providing youth with job skills training and employment experience in the corporate sector more youth in Regent Park will be put on the path toward sustainable employment, and as a result, enhance the social development of the entire community.
First piloted in 2015, a group of non-profit and corporate partners invested in the Regent Park community, and generated a collective impact initiative, the Moving Towards Opportunity program. MTO is a youth employment initiative for 16 – 18-year-olds who reside in Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Over 7 years, MTO has served a total of 135 student placements with 47 unique employers. Each year the program has approximately 30 youth that participate with the goal to:
Expand Professional Networks
Develop Professional Skills
Engage in Meaningful Employment
As a result of the program, youth’s network size has grown by 138%, with an average of 16 new connections for each student.
The Daniels Corporation
Toronto Youth Partnerships & Employment (TYPE)
Dixon Hall Employment Services
Toronto Community Housing
Pathways to Education