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Ontario Partnering with Industry to Create More Opportunities for Black Youth

Community Agencies

MPP Michael Coteau

Career Program Will Reduce Income Disparities, Boost Job Opportunities

Ontario is helping Black youth with postsecondary education prepare for their careers through a new program that will increase their representation in sectors such as engineering, insurance and finance.

The Industry-Led Career Initiative is part of the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan, and aims to reduce employment and income disparities among young professionals. Michael Coteau, Minister of Children and Youth Services and Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism, announced the initiative today at the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Ontario is encouraging organizations to apply now to receive funding to develop industry-specific training and job placement programs. Successful organizations will receive up to $375,000 per year to create programs in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, Ottawa and Windsor.

The Ontario Black Youth Action Plan is a four-year, $47-million commitment to help reduce disparities for more than 10,000 Black children, youth and families in communities across the province.

Eliminating systemic racism and advancing racial equity is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario will invest $1.5 million per year starting in 2018-’19 to support the Industry-Led Career Initiative, as part of the Ontario Black Youth Action Plan.
  • The program is being designed with the help of an external implementation steering committee made up of youth, leaders and experts from the Black community, as well as with feedback received from community engagement sessions.
  • Black adults have lower median incomes compared to the overall population.
  • The program will increase representation of Black professionals in key industries, such as engineering, life sciences, finance and insurance, as well as in management.
  • As part of A Better Way Forward: Ontario’s 3-Year Anti-Racism Strategic Plan, Ontario will also be releasing an Anti-Black Racism Strategy later this fall.

Additional Resources


“Our government is working to level the playing field for our province’s Black youth. Despite having a postsecondary education, many Black youth and young professionals are underrepresented in fields such as engineering, finance and life sciences. By partnering with private businesses and service agencies, we are improving opportunities for our Black youth and ensuring they are positioned for success both now and in the future.”

Michael Coteau

Minister of Children and Youth Services, Minister Responsible for Anti-Racism

“It’s exciting to see that the Black Youth Action Plan is making great strides. Through this partnership between industry and government, Black youth will receive access to meaningful experiences and opportunities that launch them into high-quality careers and long-term professional pathways in priority economic sectors. Addressing the underrepresentation of Black professionals in these sectors is critical to the success of our economy and society.”

Colin Lynch

Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Growth, Greystone Managed Investments Inc., and member of the External Implementation Steering Committee for the Black Youth Action Plan

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