Past recipients of the annual $125,000 NLCC grant include:
- LiveWorkPlay to grow the number of employers hiring youth with intellectual disabilities
- Youth Active Media for a social enterprise that trains and employs high school students from at-risk communities to create high-quality videos for diverse clients
- Youth+ to enrich the Youth Futures program that annually supports 180 youth from diverse, low-income backgrounds to pursue meaningful careers and become effective social change agents
The 2019 winner of the NLCC was the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre for Incubator13, which offers integrated programming to support youth entrepreneurship and employment.
In addition, as NLCC partner for the past two years, the RBC Foundation has contributed over $260,000 to ensure that all finalists received support for their initiatives. Generous OCF donors attending NLCC events have also directly granted over $315,000 to finalists. This has allowed for the implementation of many additional initiatives, such as the Get Into program of Prince’s Trust Canada. Get Into partners with employers to ensure relevant training for youth with at least 50% of program participants guaranteed an offer of employment.
Beyond the funding, the OCF and its NLCC partners have built relationships and organizational systems to support the ongoing evolution of systemic, sustainable approaches on this crucial issue.
In June 2018, the OCF designed and delivered the Youth Employment Workshop in partnership with the Ottawa Employment Hub (OEH) and the RBC Foundation, organizations that bring a wealth of research and knowledge on the issue. Both the groundwork prior to the event and the workshop itself supported the collaborative development of numerous initiatives. The event was attended by over 100 people from youth-serving organizations as well as stakeholders from the public, private and philanthropic sectors. Eight of the initiatives that emerged received seed funding for further development. Much more than just a source of finalists for the NLCC, the connections that were forged continue to enrich broader planning and action on the issue.
In late 2018 the OCF, RBC Foundation, United Way East Ontario, Ottawa Employment Hub, and Social Planning Council of Ottawa launched a Leadership Table on youth employment. This initiative has evolved into a collaborative of 20 agencies and employers whose mission is to develop innovative ways to prepare youth for the new economy and better connect them with employers.
Building further on these foundations, in the spring of 2019 the OCF requested “Idea Briefs” from organizations to encourage further big-picture thinking and collaboration. After being reviewed by members of the Leadership Table, seven initiatives received seed funding from the OCF and RBC Foundation to further develop their ideas, and three of these were selected as NLCC finalists. The finalists presented to the full Leadership Table and received assistance from a business planning consultant to further enrich their proposals and their presentations for the NLCC event. This resulted in the strongest cohort yet of NLCC finalists.
Creating networking opportunities, actively connecting potential partners, encouraging aspirational and systems-oriented solutions, and providing funding for early-stage idea development has stimulated significant collaboration and innovation in addressing youth unemployment in Ottawa.
For more information:
Director, Community Engagement
Ottawa Community Foundation
613-236-1616 ext. 222