**** COMMUNITY SERVICES Release
Program to Help Young Adults Get Jobs Expanding
The opportunity to build community and peer connections, develop life and leadership skills and gain practical work experience positions young adults for career success and independence.
That is why the EDGE pilot program – which provides eligible Employment Support and Income Assistance clients aged 18 to 26 with a one-stop-shop approach – is expanding to Bridgewater, New Glasgow, Sydney and north end Halifax. The pilot expansion could reach about 200 more young adults each year.
“We are committed to helping young people build their connections to communities, develop a career path and free themselves from the need for income assistance,” said Community Services Minister Kelly Regan. “This expansion will allow more of our youth clients to access this useful program and set a new path for their future.”
Building on the program’s success, eligibility will also expand to include youth transitioning out of care as well as youth who may find themselves needing income assistance. The pilot will also improve its delivery for African Nova Scotian youth by recognizing their lived experiences and acknowledging the strength, history and challenges people of African descent face in their employment journeys.
A request for proposals for service providers was issued on Jan. 22. The deadline for applications is Feb. 8.
Funding for the EDGE pilot program expansion, totalling $3.2 million over two years, comes from the federal Workforce Development Agreement.
“EDGE has dramatically shortened the length of time young people are dependent on income assistance but, more than that, it inspires hope for a brighter future to thrive in their local Nova Scotia community. The expansion of the program will impact thousands of young people for years to come.”
– Russell Sanche, executive director, the Portal Youth Outreach Association
“We have seen first-hand the success of EDGE. It is truly exciting to see this project expand into new communities.”
– Dave Rideout, president and CEO, MetroWorks Employment Association
— the EDGE pilot program, established in 2018, is the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada
— EDGE participants exit the Employment Support and Income Assistance program in half the time of other youth clients
— the average number of months on assistance after finding employment through EDGE is 6.9 months (the new enhanced wage exemption policy allows clients to stay on income assistance longer, retaining more of their wage as they transition to more stable circumstances)
— to date, the program has been delivered at two sites by three service providers: MetroWorks in Halifax Regional Municipality; and Community INC., partnered with The Portal Youth Centre, in Kentville
— the Department of Community Services has invested $1 million annually in the existing pilot sites
To learn more or to apply as a service provider for the EDGE pilot program, visit: https://novascotia.ca/coms/esslampssguidelines/EDGE/index.html
New Program to Help Young Adults Get Jobs: https://novascotia.ca/news/release/?id=20190208003