THUNDER BAY – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario has announced almost $4 million in investments to expand entrepreneurship, and create more jobs in Northern Ontario for youth. This funding includes almost $900,000 for projects in the Thunder Bay region.
“These investments will provide our youth with the supports and skills they need to be successful. Creating meaningful opportunities in Northwestern Ontario for youth to grow and prosper will help ensure they plant roots here and contribute to the growth of our economy,” states Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River.
FedNor states that the future of Northern Ontario’s economy relies on the talent and skills of our young people.
From high school students starting small summer enterprises to college and university graduates leading promising start-ups, youth in the region is critical to continued growth and success, and the Government of Canada is there to support them.
“When young people are given the tools to succeed, their whole communities will benefit. These investments will help young Canadians in our region find mentorships and resources, and help them build careers for themselves and others. We’re continuing to invest in more and better opportunities for young people in Northwestern Ontario, and across Canada, ” says Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, and Minister of Health.
“The energy and ingenuity of young Canadians are critical to the success of our economy. We know that young entrepreneurs have been hit hard by COVID-19, and we stand with them. Our message to them is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll work with you to create more jobs,” says Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.
The announcements come as nations around the world celebrate World Youth Skills Day, shared by the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, along with Marcus Powlowski, MP for Thunder Bay Rainy River and the Honourable Patty Hajdu, MP for Thunder Bay-Superior North.
Delivered by FedNor, this funding will support the following projects:
Group of Seven Lake Superior Trail Association $31,500
Hire a youth intern as a business development coordinator to help increase tourism for the Group of Seven trail system.
Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre Inc. $366,300
Support for the Youth Effect project, a three-year initiative designed to provide entrepreneurial youth with a 15-week experiential learning and training placement with an innovative business. Participating youth and firms are strategically matched based on skill, interest, and need.
Lakehead University $465,375
FedNor funding will enable Lakehead University to establish a student entrepreneurship hub and related programs. This three-year initiative will support student-based start-ups through business mentorship, entrepreneurship training, and partnerships.
Northern Policy Institute $31,500
FedNor funding will enable the Northern Policy Institute to hire a youth intern to track immigration assets and growth across Northern Ontario.
These investments are designed to help young people build the skills, and gain the knowledge needed to reset the negative impacts of COVID-19 on this region’s economy and prepare them for future career opportunities.
Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting young entrepreneurs through this difficult time. Helping young people acquire essential on-the-job training or navigate their way through a career in entrepreneurship will help set Northern Ontario on a course for future prosperity. Initiatives like these will only become more important as our economy rebuilds and evolves in the years to come.