Healthy Communities

YMCA GTA once again named a top employer for young people

Younger staff working with child at childcare centre

We are proud to announce that the YMCA of Greater Toronto has been named as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for 2018! This is the eighth time (and the seventh year in a row) the YMCA has received this special designation, which “recognizes employers that offer the nation’s best workplaces and programs for young people just starting their careers.”

Creating positive opportunities for young people is at the core of our commitment to diversity and social inclusion, and our vision of building healthier communities across the GTA. Whether someone is a high school student seeking to obtain some work experience, or a recent graduate just starting out in their career, there are many reasons to work for the Y — including diverse and meaningful employment and volunteer opportunities, a rewarding experience, and a chance to make a real impact in the community.

“Before coming to work for the YMCA of Greater Toronto, I was an ambitious new graduate looking for her first real job,” says Sasha Smith, Digital Specialist. “Aside from aspirations of being part of an organization where I could make a difference in the world, having a healthy work-life balance was on the top list of ‘look-fors’ in an employer. Thankfully, I’ve found both of these things at the Y. No two days are alike in my role, and I love the excitement that this brings to my career.”

Ensuring that a diverse range of training and development opportunities are accessible to our young staff and volunteers is a key component in helping them to be their best. Right from onboarding and our new staff orientation, to unique learning opportunities including international experiences and scholarships, there are many ways for our staff to develop and grow in their careers.

“At the YMCA, I am surrounded by staff who care about my professional development and celebrate my efforts to further my education and training,” says Lucy Schmidt, Specialist, Data and Volunteer Development. “As one of the recipients of the Staff Development Fund, I am taking a course in not-for-profit management thanks to the contribution given by the YMCA, which will help further my development and career goals.”

At the YMCA, young staff and volunteers also have the unique opportunity of working directly with their peers in our youth programs where they can also assume mentorship and leadership roles.

Ken Zolotar started his career with the YMCA as a young person supporting other youth in the Summer Works Student Exchanges program. “I feel strongly that the YMCA truly invests in young staff,” he says. “I have been grateful for the professional development opportunities to further my education through language, training and youth focused coaching workshops.”

Ken is now working in the Office of the President and CEO, where he works closely with senior leaders and continues to have impact with young people. “In my current role, I feel trusted, supported and continuously encouraged to further my professional development and expand my skill-set in areas that interest me.”

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is incredibly fortunate to be able to benefit from the skills and contributions of all our young staff and volunteers, as well as from the experience and engagement of their mentors and employees of all ages. Being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People reinforces our commitment to continue to find more ways to make the YMCA of Greater Toronto a great place to work.

Learn more about our selection as a Top Employer for Young People (2018). You can also find the full list of Top Employers for Young People 2018 in a special magazine feature in The Globe and Mail.