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CivicAction and LinkedIn Help Youth Facing Barriers Connect to Opportunities Through 21st Century Job Search Tools

TORONTO, July 15, 2016 – Today at YouthConnect 2016, hundreds of youth workers have gathered for hands-on training on how to build a digital network and get young people connected with employers and opportunities online. As thousands of young people in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) go to their summer jobs this morning, up to 83,000 youth in our region are not in employment, education or training.

“In the job market so much boils down to relationships, and today connections are being made and maintained online,” said Sevaun Palvetzian, CEO, CivicAction. “YouthConnect is a unique large-scale training for youth and frontline staff on 21st century job finding tools and is a smart, practical way to increase transparency and connect-the-dots in our job market.”

CivicAction, LinkedIn, the Ryerson University Career Centre, and the City of Toronto have partnered to host YouthConnect 2016 at the Ted Rogers School of Management to better connect employers and young job-seekers in the GTHA. By training youth workers and employment counsellors there’s a “multiplier effect” with a potential reach of more than 2,500 youth. Employer attendees will walk away with a better understanding of how to use online recruitment options to address their entry-level needs and the benefits that come along with that. The almost 100 young job-seekers in attendance will learn how to use tools like LinkedIn for career exploration and personal branding.

“At LinkedIn, we’re passionate about our mission to create economic opportunity for each and every member of the global workforce. That starts with empowering the professionals of tomorrow with the tools and skills they need to leverage their full potential,” said Jonathan Lister, vice president of North American Sales and Canada country manager for LinkedIn. “We’re thrilled to be participating in YouthConnect again this year to help break down barriers to employment and connect our region’s youth with long-term opportunity.”

In addition to the hands-on training by expert LinkedIn staff, attendees will hear from guest speakers Peter Sloly, Executive Director, Deloitte; Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services; and Rob Meikle, Chief Information Officer, City of Toronto on the power of LinkedIn to advance the career aspirations of young people, and the importance of maintaining a professional brand online. Youth attendees will also have the opportunity to build their personal brand, network with employers and get a picture-perfect headshot for their LinkedIn profile.

YouthConnect is a part of CivicAction’s Escalator initiative, which connects youth facing barriers to employment with jobs, through collaboration with a large tent of players from the public, private and non-profit sectors. By engaging small and medium-sized businesses, bringing job opportunities into the open, closing the skills gap, and connecting youth with role models, CivicAction and its partners are making the job market more transparent and giving new networks to youth who currently don’t have them. This event was made possible by the generous support of Accenture, Cisco, the City of Toronto, and Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

“Research shows that Canada’s future prosperity depends on our ability to harness the energy and optimism of young people, but too many are feeling anxious about their future with job prospects being a major worry,” said Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC and Chair of CivicAction’s Escalator initiative. “We want to help young people navigate through education into employment. YouthConnect will help close the gap by teaching the digital skills needed to successfully do this in the 21st century.”


For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Sarah Harris
Communications Director, CivicAction

Julie Dossett
LinkedIn – Canada Communications Lead

About CivicAction: For over a decade, CivicAction has brought together senior executives and rising leaders from all sectors to tackle some of the GTHA’s toughest challenges. CivicAction’s Escalator: Jobs for Youth Facing Barriers brings together private, public and community sector leaders to tackle the issue of unemployment for youth facing barriers. Over the last two years, CivicAction has successfully launched a number of programs which are making a difference in the lives of young people across the GTHA. CivicAction’s new phase of work launched in 2016 will develop evidence-based tools to help identify and address barriers within organizations that may hinder the success of young people across Ontario. To find out more visit or follow us on twitter at @CivicActionGTHA.

About LinkedIn: LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful. With more than 433 million members — including more than 12million in Canada — our vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. As part of our ongoing Economic Graph initiative to digitally map the global economy and help connect talent with opportunity at massive scale, LinkedIn worked with CivicAction to map the opportunities and skills gap in Toronto’s growing tech sector. See the report here.

About the Career Centre at Ryerson University: The Career Centre at Ryerson University provides career education, employment opportunities and employment support services to students, recent graduates and alumni, and prospective employers. Our staff offer a diverse suite of services that assist students and alumni reach their professional development and long-term career goals.

About the City of Toronto: The City of Toronto offers a variety of supports to youth seeking employment and employers seeking talent. The City’s Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE), and the Toronto Youth Job Corps are just two of the many programs / initiatives the City offers to increase youth’s access to economic opportunities. Find out how the City can help you find work or start a business by visiting YouthTO (