Media Release – Town of Lincoln and Civiconnect welcome additional $1 million in funding for Youth Skills Studio

Lincoln, ON – (September 8, 2021) – The Town of Lincoln’s Economic Development department continues its partnership with Civiconnect in developing a Youth Skills Studio in Lincoln. Following an announcement of $2 million in funding from the Province of Ontario’s Skills Development Fund in August 2021, the Town is pleased to share that an additional $1 million has been awarded to Civiconnect from the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC).

The Youth Skills Studio will prepare 90 local youth for the workforce and support local employers with affordable access to talent and resources to help grow their businesses.

Town of Lincoln Council has also approved use of the Town’s 4996 Beam Street facility to house the Youth Skills Studio. This permanent location will help ensure the success of the initiative both during and after the Skills Development Fund partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.

“This additional funding will go a long way to provide 90 youth in Lincoln with the skills they need to become more marketable in the workplace, while supporting local businesses and helping to grow our economy,” said Town of Lincoln Mayor Sandra Easton. “As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, the Town is here to support the community in confronting these challenges and help provide the resources needed for a brighter future.”

“We are showing leadership in Niagara by leveraging community partnerships that create multiple win-win situations for youth, business, local organizations and the community as a whole,” said Town of Lincoln CAO Mike Kirkopoulos. “This funding from ICTC, in addition to the $2.1 million previously announced, represents the largest single non-infrastructure investment the Town of Lincoln has ever received to implement our strategic plans.”

Kailene Jackson is the Co-Founder and Director of Programming at Civiconnect, who sees the Youth Skills Studio as an innovative solution which aims to combat youth unemployment and provide businesses with the resources they need to enhance their online presence. “One of the key benefits of this initiative will be to provide businesses with the resources to enhance their online presence, which has been more important than ever during the pandemic.”

Paul Di Ianni, Director of Economic Development and Communications for the Town of Lincoln, echoed the importance of community partnerships and investing in youth. “The Economic Development team has been working closely with Civiconnect to make this possibility come to fruition,” he says. “The Council-approved Economic Development Strategy outlines talent and workforce development as a key strategy to drive economic growth in Lincoln, with a specific focus on youth.”

ICTC is a national not-for-profit organization that provides expertise for the digital economy as well as trusted research, innovative talent solutions, and practical policy advice. It is a part of the federal Student Work Placement Program, and the new funding will support wage subsidies for the Youth Skills Studio programming. Youth Skills Studio trainees can also enroll in ICTC’s e-learning courses to receive micro-credentials.

Civiconnect is a local non-profit organization that connects youth and the private sector to their communities to maximize their social impact through technology, innovation and strategy. The Youth Skills Studio will provide 60,000 hours of work-integrated learning to 90 youth aged 15-29 working on 75 initiatives for local businesses. These work-integrated learning projects will enable local businesses to connect with youth who will provide digital services for their businesses, including:

  • Digital systems administration
  • Digital marketing
  • Web development

In addition to retaining young talent in Lincoln, the Youth Skills Studio supports other priorities of Lincoln’s Economic Development Strategy by promoting business retention and expansion and innovation and leadership. It will also provide the foundation for an arts and tech hub in Lincoln.

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For media inquiries on the Youth Skills Studio, please contact:

Liliana Busnello
Manager of Corporate Communications
Town of Lincoln
Direct: 905-563-2799 ext. 230
Tel: 905-563-8205

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