MRO Magazine

New skills-training facility opens for at-risk youth in Ontario

Human Resources

September 11, 2015
By Bill Roebuck

Ottawa – Ontario is marking the grand opening of a new trades building at the William E. Hay Centre in Ottawa, which will give at-risk youth job skills-training such as dry walling, woodworking and small engine repair.

The Tamarack Trades Training Centre at the William E. Hay Centre will serve detained youth, aged 12 to 17, to help them learn trade skills, and make a positive contribution in their communities after their release. Research shows that youth in the justice system, who have access to vocational or employment training programs while in school, are more likely to have successful rehabilitation and reintegration.

The William E. Hay Centre is operated by the Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, which is a not-for-profit community agency that specializes in dealing with youth issues.

The Tamarack Trades Training Centre facility is designed to meet Algonquin College teaching facility standards and has the potential to be geared toward pre-apprenticeship programs. The new 4,400-sq-ft centre includes a general workshop, automotive and metal shop, and a greenhouse.


“The Tamarack Trades Training Centre, made possible by the Ontario government and our sponsors, will play an important role in ensuring that at risk youth are not defined by their past. It will help give them skills that will equip them to make good choices and a positive contribution to society,” said Joanne Lowe, executive director, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa.

The $2.8 million provincial investment is part of the government’s long-term infrastructure plan. Ontario is investing more than $130 billion over 10 years in communities across the province to shore up infrastructure in a variety of areas including education, health care and broadband.