Goodwill and RBC: Launching the Future of Youth Together

Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes and RBC: Launching the future of youth together

LONDON, ON, April 17, 2019 – Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes is pleased to announce that Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) has committed $800,000 in support of Work First, a work-integrated experiential learning initiative which assists people shut out of the labour market attain and retain work, and ultimately graduate to better careers and futures.
Work First focuses on a priority population served by Goodwill: at-risk, disconnected or marginalized youth who face barriers such as a lack of education, learning deficits, poverty, mental illness or other disadvantaging conditions. This includes youth idling within or transitioning from social assistance, incarceration or health care systems.
RBC’s donation to Goodwill Industries is part of RBC Future Launch, a 10-year, $500-million initiative to help young people across Canada gain access and opportunity to the skills, job experience and career networks needed for the future world of work.
“RBC and Goodwill recognize the nature of work is shifting, and many young people lack the skills and readiness for the labour market.  This is particularly true for youth who don’t possess relevant education or work experience, and who need opportunities to apply their skills in the real world.  The partnership will provide Goodwill with the resources and tools to hire hundreds of youth who require the integration of health and wellness, life coaching and intensive skills training into an experiential learning workplace,” states Michelle Quintyn, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes.
Work First emphasizes the transformational power and dignity of work: a job, a paycheck, the embrace of a working community, the chance to belong, connection, essential core skills and industry-specific training, and ample time to achieve the skills and proficiencies needed for the labour market.
“Goodwill gave me a chance when no one thought I would ever get a job because of my Schizophrenia” says Melinda Norton who has been employed at Goodwill for four years, achieving a promotion to team lead and elevating from transitional to full-time employment within her first year.
Goodwill work opportunities span large, medium and rural communities across Southwestern Ontario and the GTA, and as Goodwill expands, Central and Eastern regions of the province.
RBC’s funding will enable technologies and “smart” work platforms, life/job coaching, wellness and basic supports, innovative training and skills advancement, industry relations and job placement supports to follow workers as they advance to the labour market, and rigorous evaluation.
Goodwill is collaborating with evaluators to measure the impact and return on investment of the model – hoping to compel the government to commit to funding some of the ‘social costs’ of employment social enterprises like Goodwill over the long-term.
Innovation is in the emphasis on ‘Work First’ – giving a young person who may not be ready to work a job as a means to work readiness. For youth who face significant or complex barriers such as mental illness, poverty or learning deficits work-integrated learning is an effective pathway to adapt to the routines and customs of work, strengthen confidence, improve retention outcomes and attain in-demand labour market skills.
The announcement of the RBC donation will take place Wednesday, April 17, 11:00 am in the Atrium at the Goodwill Centre 255 Horton Street East, London Ontario.RBC Future Launch is a decade-long commitment to help Canadian youth prepare for the jobs of tomorrow, through skills development, networking and work experience. For more information and networking tips, please visit: https://discover.rbcroyalbank.com/.

About Goodwill

Job creation for people who face barriers to employment; skills development and building potential of employees while “at work”; and a deliberate focus on advancing people to better careers targeting the needs of the labour market, is the essence of Goodwill Industries’ mission.  Goodwill is proud to employ a vast youth workforce comprising more than 40% of all employees.
Opportunities for jobs and training span large, medium and rural communities across Southwestern Ontario including London, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Woodstock, Tillsonburg, Stratford, Ingersoll, Goderich, Strathroy, St.Thomas, Windsor, Chatham, Sarnia, the GTA and as Goodwill expands, Central and Eastern regions in the Province.
Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes, is a separately incorporated and governed non-profit organization serving Southwestern Ontario. Annually Goodwill serves over 25,000 job seekers, has a budget of $47 million and employs upward of 1000 individuals. 
Goodwill operates three full service Career Centre’s in London, Sarnia and Chatham. Teams of 85 professional counsellors, trainers and job placement specialists provide employment preparation, counselling, training and job placement services to individuals seeking to work or re-train.  Services also extend to employers seeking to hire and to entrepreneurs seeking to start their own business.

Michelle Quintyn
President and Chief Executive Officer
Goodwill Industries, Ontario Great Lakes
(T) 519.850.9000 ext. 2201 (C) 519.859.4959