Caledon youth: amazing opportunities for local employers

by Monty Laskin, CEO Caledon Community Services

This summer, a smorgasbord of talent has percolated throughout Caledon Community Services. We’ve vibrated with energy as our summer students got down to business.

Caledon Community Services (CCS) has been home to nine summer student jobs this summer, a record for us. We went for broke and submitted nine applications in February. The federal government accepted them all. We landed nine students who have practically run our shop!

Lindsay, Sandeep, Nicholas, Ellen, Caitlyn, Vanessa, Samantha, Shreya and Sarah have been an army of optimism, every one of them perfectly suited to the position for which they interviewed. CCS’ staffers have almost been overwhelmed with this injection of energy and determination. The students’ pace and smarts have upped everyone’s game in CCS, mine included. Their accomplishments have been terrific.

The past couple months gave me a better understanding of what’s on the minds of the 19 — 25 demographic these days. Their music is fast, their work pace is faster, social media communications even faster. Their commitment to get good things done is every bit as fierce. They accomplished tremendous things over 12 weeks. What local business wouldn’t want this group on their payroll?

Lindsay was in the Exchange and ran activities, held a “Greek Staycation” and dove into food operations. Nick gathered complicated data on all CCS programs that dramatically improve our communications and marketing. Caitlyn and Vanessa created theme displays, planned sales, oversaw inventory control and held a fashion show in our Evolve Clothing store. Sarah put in place administrative efficiencies at reception, created video trailers for employment workshops and conducted workshops of her own. Sandeep worked with complex health quality data, providing analyses of run charts that highlight the effectiveness of CCS services, point to improvements and support our reporting to funders. Shreya developed activities for our Seniors Wellness program and offered them to seniors to rave reviews. She also worked in our Specialist Clinic and implemented numerous improvements. Samantha completed research that will have us submitting dozen of proposals to charitable foundations; she also supported our fundraising and was a CCS ambassador at numerous events. And Ellen built our constituent database at community events and helped CCS’ communications and marketing team identify improvements in information management that will benefit all CCS programs.

A mountain of work moved forward through these students. CCS enters the fall in great shape because of them.

We committed a while back to be quite intentional in converting our culture to that of a teaching centre. We have always had a deep rooted commitment to youth in Caledon but wanted to go beyond that. We want to mentor and coach our community’s aspiring young minds. We’re open to their leadership and did they ever lead this summer! What we learned from them, and the ways they moved CCS forward, was inspiring.

Summer 2017 has been a happy time for Caledon. We received news that CCS’ Life for Youth program has a green light for the next three years. It will offer paid internships to people aged 15-30 within CCS and then paid jobs with local employers. Between Life and our other youth programs, we’ve got more than 128 open positions to fill and a heck of a lot of subsidy money to provide to local employers.

If you’re a local employer wanting to launch a staff position that’s heavily subsidized and allows you to train a Caledon resident and watch him/her soar under your guidance, we want to hear from you! Please reach my colleague, Mary Falcone, manager of youth programming, at 905.584.2300 or at mfalcone@ccs4u.org.

Monty Laskin is the Chief Executive Officer of CCS.

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