The MTO program believes that connecting youth to positions within influential organizations facilitates learning, networking and career-building opportunities that these young people would not have access to otherwise.
About Moving Towards Opportunity (MTO)
First piloted in 2015, Moving Towards Opportunity (MTO) is a youth employment initiative for 16-18-year-olds who reside in Regent Park and surrounding neighbourhoods. The MTO program is designed to better prepare youth from low-income communities for sustainable employment. MTO provides program participants with a comprehensive 14-week employment readiness program followed by an 8 week, full-time paid work opportunity during their summer break.
Why is MTO Important?
There has been a recognition amongst all stakeholders that the Regent Park revitalization is a platform for change and community transformation beyond the bricks and mortar of the physical development. One of the major keys to success of the community revitalization is the social development of the community through capacity building and creating employment opportunities for residents, including youth.
What Makes MTO Unique?
Many existing youth employment programs are directed at youth aged 18+. The MTO program is unique in that it aims to increase job readiness and find summer jobs for high school students.
By engaging students in high school before they make big decisions about their careers, youth are able to gain access to work experiences in the corporate sector which can alter youths’ perceptions about what is possible for their professional futures.
The youth that participate in the MTO program are students between the ages of 16-18 who will be entering grades 11 and 12 or will be pursuing post-secondary studies in the fall. All students must be returning to school full-time. Participants are recruited locally within Regent Park and the neighbouring communities.
All participating youth have participated in a screening assessment and a 14-week pre-employment program.
A variety of topics are covered through the mandatory 14-week employment readiness component of the program.
Some highlights include
Understanding employer expectations
Assessing personal areas of strength
Resume and cover letter preparation
Interview preparation, mock interviews
Program facilitators remain connected and accessible to both the youth and employers throughout the duration of the placement to provide ongoing support if needed and to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.
“Being a part of the MTO program for me was really interesting; I was able to learn interesting techniques on how to improve my resume and cover letter, as well as, making connections with important people who I would have never met otherwise. I loved how we would get guest to come and talk to us and explain how they made their dream jobs come true, listening to their speeches gave me the motivation to work hard so that I could find my dream job.”
Christoper, Cohort 1
If you have questions about the program or would like to participate as an employer, please connect with the MTO team using the contact information below.
Fatima Saya, The Daniels Corporation