Green jobs training to help homeless youth in GTA make life transition


TORONTO, May 22, 2013 – Trades training for eco-friendly jobs can be solution to help homeless youth transition from their situation, at the same time transform into fulfilled members of society and the workforce, experts believe. Sheldon Pollett, a proponent of the concept and the executive director of Choices for Youth, will talk about its benefits May 22 at the Markham Convergence Centre.

Pollett, who is based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, is the presenter of the sixth session in the seven-part series, Responding to Youth Homelessness: A Systems Approach Learning Series, jointly organized by York University’s Canadian Homeless Research Network (CHRN) and United Way York Region. His keynote speech will offer tips from Train for Trades, an innovative housing project that he leads, which has been successful in offering green jobs employment training to homeless youth in St. John’s.

“Train for Trades is an amazing program that can and should be in every community in Canada. It addresses youth homelessness by providing meaningful training on energy retrofits. It addresses energy poverty. And it brings the community together to solve both problems. It’s a win-win-win proposition -- this would work great in Ontario,” says Professor Stephen Gaetz, who is also the director of CHRN.

WHAT: Youth Homelessness Learning Series, session 6: “Train for Trades” – an innovative housing and social enterprise project focusing on “green jobs” employment training, homeless youth

WHO: Sheldon Pollett, executive director, Choices for Youth, St. Johns, Newfoundland

WHERE:   Markham Convergence Centre, 7271 Warden Avenue, Markham

WHEN:    Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 1:00-3:00pm

NOTE: This session is also available as live streamed webinar.

 York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York’s unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York’s 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.

United Way York Region serves nine municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Whitchurch-Stouffville. In addition to its traditional role of supporting agencies to meet urgent needs, United Way is working to tackle the root causes of social issues. To help strengthen York Region’s quality of life, United Way is uniting people and resources on three priorities: moving people from poverty to possibility, helping kids be all they can be, and building healthy people and strong neighbourhoods.

Media Contacts:
Gloria Suhasini, York University Media Relations, 416 736 2100 ext. 22094,

Adriana Suppa, Director, Communications, United Way York Region, 905 474 9974 ext. 358