Human Resources, Labour and Employment
April 7, 2008

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Shawn Skinner, Minister of Human Resources, Labour and Employment. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Community Youth Network

I rise today in this Honourable House to acknowledge the valuable role that the Community Youth Network (CYN) plays in helping youth succeed in our province. Our Government is firmly committed to expanding services for young people, and to building capacity at the community level, in support of the provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy.

In keeping with the goals of the strategy, the CYN helps address the need to decrease barriers to education and employment, and improve the quality of life for our young people. The organization continues to grow. Today, the CYN provides a positive and nurturing experience for over 14,000 young people, and now serves 48 communities directly while providing outreach to youth living in another 45 communities across the province.

Last year, government provided an additional $650,000 to expand the CYN to young people in the communities and areas of Cape Broyle, Bonavista, St. Lawrence, Grand Falls-Windsor, Corner Brook, and St. Anthony.

The CYN approach is built on partnership. There are over 200 working partnerships with community-based organizations throughout the province. They assist each local CYN in the development and delivery of meaningful programs and services for youth.

The Youth at Promise Challenge Program is a successful example of a CYN partnership with Choices for Youth and several other agencies. This nationally and internationally recognized program re-engages youth who have not completed high school. It offers an innovative group teaching approach to meet the academic needs of participants while addressing the personal and social challenges they face outside the classroom.

The work of the CYN is important as it provides local access to learning, career and employment, leadership, and community capacity building opportunities. As well, it offers an important social and recreational outlet for young people. It is a youth-centred approach. This means that young people are strongly encouraged to contribute their time, insight and energy to ensure that the programs they receive remain relevant in meeting their specific needs.

Going forward, this government will continue to work hard to ensure that young people are given every opportunity to succeed, to feel valued and to have realistic choices regarding their future. The CYN is an excellent avenue to foster and encourage youth engagement within our communities.

2008 04 07                                                    1:55 p.m.


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