Youth and the Creative Rural Economy


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* Jason Smith, Manager, Fusion Centre, Town of Ingersoll
* Stacey Hatch, WhistleStop Productions Inc., Picton
* Chrissy Poitras, Spark Box Studio, Picton
* Moderator: Jamie Simmons, Program Development Manager, Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation

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Youth and the Creative Rural Economy

  1. 1. Youth and the Creative Rural Economy
  2. 2. Three Part Youth Engagement StrategyPART 1 – Develop the Idea 1.1 Strategic Plan & Backgrounder 1.2 Collaborative Model 1.3 Governance Structure 1.4 Policy DevelopmentPART 2 – Implement the Idea 2.1 Youth Advisory Council & Youth Action Committee 2.2 Programming (structured/drop-in) 2.3 Engaging youth 2.4 Program outcomesPART 3 – Evaluate and Evolve the Idea 3.1 Evaluating Impact and outcomes 3.2 Evolving change 3.3 Branding, Marketing and Trade Mark 3.4 Sharing the Model
  3. 3. Town of Ingersoll Strategic Planning processSeptember 2003 - Downtown Revitalization study beganNovember 2003 - Town Council initiates Community Strategic Plan with focus on “grass roots” planning process, strong community participation, and sustained action over several yearsMay 2004 - Action planning groups complete needs assessments and surveys and present outcomes
  4. 4. Town Of Ingersoll Strategic Plan Focus Areas1. Industrial, commercial, residential and transportation2. Downtown revitalization3. Heritage and tourism4. Recreation, trails and parks5. Youth with two areas of focus (12 years and under/over age 12)6. Health and community well being
  5. 5. Part 1.1- Strategic Plan & Background Vision Statement “Youth will be encouraged to achieve a high sense of purpose, of identity and of pride for, and within their community.” Expected Results1. A permanent Youth Committee is created by Council in conjunction with a broad based and youth oriented Youth Council.2. A Youth Strategy is prepared that is responsive to the flexible needs of youth.3. A fully funded and professionally supervised Youth Centre is established, meeting the diverse needs of local youth.
  6. 6. Proactive Thinking!
  7. 7. PART 1Developing the Idea
  8. 8. Part 1.2- Collaborative Models Work!4 Types of collaborationLevel 1 Permanent onsite partners Level 2 Funding Partners Level 3 Integrated Community Partners Level 4 Community volunteers*Note that various partners will overlap, further solidifying the relationship
  9. 9. Fusion Youth CentreOur Vision is To be the leading youth service facility where youth want to beOur Mission is that Youth directed initiatives will guide our Team to provide a fun, safe and inclusive environment where youth know they belong and are empowered to make positive changes in their livesThe Mantra –Where Fusion YOUTH are Priority ONE
  10. 10. Level 1: Permanent Onsite Partners
  11. 11. The Million $$ QuestionOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs – Rural Economic Development GrantCAW Local 88Local community groups, service clubs & generous community membersCorporation of the Town of Ingersoll*The facility is ultimately owned and operated by the Municipality.
  12. 12. Level 2: Funding PartnersTown of Ingersoll• Owns, operates and funds 60% of Fusion’s $850,000 operating budgetGrants & Donations• 15% comes from grants, community groupsFacility Leases and Rentals• 25% comes from Facility leases and rentalsSocial Enterprise• Goal is to generate 10% of annual operating budget
  13. 13. Funding of $200,000 - $399,000 Funding of $500 - $9,999Rural Economic Development Fund All Pro BilliardsFunding of $100,000 - $149,000 Canadian Tire Jump Start Program Community Employment ServicesOntario Trillium Foundation Giant Tiger IngersollSmoke- Free Ontario Home Building Centre IngersollFunding of $50,000 - $99,000 Ingersoll Business Improvement AreaMinistry of Economic Trade and Development Ingersoll Kiwanis ClubOxford Small Business Support Centre Ingersoll Lions ClubRInC Program Grant Ingersoll Oxford Realty Board - Fred Freeman Ingersoll Rotary ClubFunding of $10,000 - $49,000 Job ConnectCanadian Summer Jobs Leon’s Furniture WoodstockCAW Local 88 (Annual) McLay’s TransportCommunities in Action Fund Oxford Community FoundationCounty of Oxford Oxford County Nutrition PartnershipCowan Foundation Oxford Elgin Middlesex Local Training BoardHarvest Run - Cory and Tim Parrow Pharmasave IngersollHeart FM 104.7 FM Rick’s CarpetIngersoll Community Foundation Right RenosNuclear Waste Management Organization Rogers Cable TV 13Royal Bank of Canada Town Youth Participation StrategiesResponse Generators United Church Ladies LeagueSacred Heart Catholic Church Universal PrintingSmall Projects Accessibility Human Resources & Verspeeten CartageSkills Development CanadaSummer Experience GrantTim Horton’s Children’s FoundationUnited Way of Oxford (Annual)
  14. 14. Level 3: And more relationships! Integrated Community Partnerships•Offer services and programming•Co-facilitate programs•May sublet space to generate revenue•May offer in-kind services•More accessible services for youth
  15. 15. Program and Service Partners Army CadetsAre You Ready-Canadian Mental Health Oxford County Drug Task ForceAssociation Oxford County Youth StrategyBig Brother/Big Sisters Oxford Probation ServicesCAMI Automotive Oxford Small Business Support CentreCAW Local 88 Oxford Youth Action AllianceChildren’s Aid SocietyCommunity Employment Services Oxford, Elgin, London, MiddlesexCommunity Options for Justice Local Training BoardConestoga College Parks & Recreation OntarioDuke of Edinburgh United Way of OxfordFast Forward-Fanshawe College Woodstock & District Developmental ServicesIngersoll Learning Employment ResourceCentre Woodstock & Area Community Health CentreIngersoll Kiwanis Club Wrap AroundIngersoll Seniors Centre Local BusinessesIngersoll Youth Action Committee Community MembersIngersoll Youth Advisory CouncilKatimavik Just to name a few…..Literacy Links South-CentralLocal High School & Elementary SchoolsOntario Early Years ProgramOntario Rural CouncilOntario Trillium FoundationOxford County Board of Health
  16. 16. Level 4: Community Volunteers• Community members willing to volunteer time in any aspect of the program & Facility• May offer special programs (rec/tech)• In-kind donation of services or time• Show genuine investment in our youth• Local Business people on Fusion BAC
  17. 17. Part 1.3- Governance Model Town of Ingersoll Community PartnersFacility Partners l
  18. 18. YOUTH are our PRIORITY #1 Youth leadership & development Youth directed and engaged Inclusive Community
  19. 19. What makes us different?•Combine Recreation, Technology and Skill Development•Community collaboration•Youth-driven decision making•Municipally owned and operated
  20. 20. One Stop Shop for ages 12-18 Mental health & Addiction services Employment training & skills development Volunteer opportunities Educational support & homework help Broad-based recreational activities “Blow your mind” technology Positive, caring, adult mentors
  21. 21. Part 1.4- Policy DevelopmentThe Municipal Role Municipality leads, Council driven and directed Establish a Youth Council (appointed by Council) Create collaborative partnerships Inter governmental policies (Upper Tier, Provincial, & Federal Engage youth in the discussions (For Youth by Youth)Think different No longer soft or hard services Think 21st Century Recreation Building youth engagement Return on Investment
  22. 22. PART 2Implement the Idea
  23. 23. Part 2.1- Youth Advisory Council A living civics lesson, our I.Y.A.C.kers consist of 11 youth (ages 12-18) and 2 adult mentors – nominated by youth Act as an advisory body & advocate to adults on youth issues Work collaboratively to improve the image, conditions and prospects for youth in Ingersoll Fosters positive peer relations, and opens educational doors with training workshops and conferences
  24. 24. Youth Action Committee  Formed September 2005 from a Youth Forum  Youth organization designates & Community members  2 youth liaisons from the Youth Advisory Council  Deputy Mayor sits on committee  Takes action with the youthMission Statement “The Town of Ingersoll Youth Action Committee will collaborate with theYouth Advisory Council to plan and implement civic strategies that respond to theflexible needs of youth. We will work cooperatively to improve the well-being ofchildren and youth in the Town of Ingersoll and surrounding area.”
  25. 25. Part 2.2 Programming• Activity Centre• Technology Centre• Social Enterprise & Skill Development
  26. 26. Program Objectives• Youth Friendly environment• Youth directed and involved• To improve the economic, social and personal prospects of youth• To develop and provide a cutting edge Technology Centre• To provide a recreational facility and high quality programs and drop in activities that will meet needs of all youth• Accessible, Youth community-based, culturally relevant and supportive projects, programs,
  27. 27. The Technology Centre• Gaming Zone• Internet Café• iMAC Multimedia Lab• Rebuild IT• Recording Studio• Radio Booths• Fusion TV
  28. 28. Rebuild IT• Youth rebuild donated computers• Hands on experience• Hardware and software repair• Health and Safety training
  29. 29. iMAC LabGraphic Design & Video Editing• Learn how to use IMAC computers• Learn graphic design programs• Create videos, art, and music using programs such as Final Cut, Adobe Creative Suite and Garage Band
  30. 30. The Recording Studio• A state of the art recording studio that is available to youth and the community for: – recording opportunities – individual youth and band practice – Music lessons• Youth are trained in the use of recording console and software• Youth also provide sound reinforcement for community events
  31. 31. Radio Booths• Currently broadcasting throughout the Fusion centre and soon online on our website• Single and two person radio booths• Will give youth the opportunity to learn Broadcasting skills• Heart FM Scholarships and partnerships
  32. 32. Fusion TV• Partnership with Rogers TV cable 13 Oxford• Youth learn about TV production including: – camera operation – hosting and anchoring – video editing, sound recording – lighting and all aspects of production.• Addition of a new set
  33. 33. Activity Centre•Lounge•Youth Café•Art Room•Gymnasium•Skate Park
  34. 34. Lounge• Open all centre hours, frequented by approx. 90% of youth• Billiards, ping pong, pool, foozeball• Satellite television• 4 Gaming systems – Playstation – XBOX 360 – Nintendo Wii – Game Cube• Relaxed atmosphere for youth to hang out in
  35. 35. Youth Café• Nutrition Program• nutritious meals are offered daily to youth for $3.00• staff and youth work together to create creative snacks during the Snack Shack hour• Menu planning, grocery lists, and cost breakdown are some of the daily life skills youth learn in the cafe
  36. 36. Art Room• Art Breaks/ Art Factory• Approx. 8-10 youth participate twice weekly• Painting, drawing, sketching• Professional art teacher on staff
  37. 37. Sports and Recreation•Variety of sports offered – dodge ball, floor hockey, basketball, soccer, volleyball.•Sportsmanship & leadership focused•Promotes physical fitness & healthy living•Positive peer interactions
  38. 38. Fitness ProgramFitness Program•Approx. 15-20 youth participate twice weekly•Bootcamp, kick boxing, circuit training, personal fitness and welllness training are all offered.•A professional fitness trainer facilitates classes• Develop your personal fitness levels and awareness, and strive to do your best.
  39. 39. Outdoor Recreation & Skate Park• In 2007 an outdoor skate park was constructed• Approx. 60 bikers and skateboarders use the park nightly•Host to two skate and bike competitions, 56 youth registered in the lastcompetition.• Provides a safe, supervised and maintained area to ride in•Skate park safety video – promotes safety and appropriate use of the park
  40. 40. Special Events• Halloween Haunted House•Thanksgiving Dinner – Youth cook a traditional Thanksgiving•Christmas parade - Youth create and decorate a Christmas float•Relay For Life – A team of 12 youth raised approximately $900.00.•Toronto Blue Jays Game – many youth went to a game for the first time
  41. 41. Oxford County Entrepreneurial Skills and Career ProgramDevelopment based on success of Youth Entrepreneurial Partnership Program• Collaboration between Fusion Youth Centre and Community Employment Services, funded by Ontario Trillium Foundation• Access to the program at any of the CES’s seven satellite locations
  42. 42. Benefits• Access to a skills training program designed to meet the needs of Oxford County’s Labour market• Youth from throughout the County will have opportunity to sit on Youth Business Advisory Committee
  43. 43. Deliverables• Will reach over 17,000 youth throughout the 4 year duration of the grant• Between 50%-75% of youth who participate in the program will have a livelihood (i.e. employed or self-employed)• Program will address initiatives of Oxford County Labour Development Strategy
  44. 44. Social Enterprises at Fusion• Food Services – Safe food handling, knife skills and meal preparation• Multimedia Production – Engage in our state-of-the-art facilities, primarily the iMac Lab• Digital Recording and Audio – Learn the basics of music production and recording• Computer Skills – Learn the components of a computer and how to fix computers – Provide computers and repairs to people in our community – Collect E-waste for recycling
  45. 45. Success! One youth has already started their own Business at Fusion Received funding from Summer Company Started Business summer of 2010
  46. 46. Part 2.3- Engaging YouthEngage youth In• Recreation, sport and leisure• creative expression through the arts• skill development through technology• life skills training• leadership development and mentorship• civic & community engagement and volunteerism
  47. 47. Part 2.4- Program Outcomes• Increased knowledge of personal abilities and future career options• Life Style Changes- education, healthy & active lifestyle, positive relationships, actively involved at community events• Transferable skills• Creative and critical thinking skills• Gain leadership, interpersonal and communication skills with adults
  48. 48. CHECK IT OUT!• Opened in February 2006• Over 1300 members to date since opening• Approximately 85-110 youth per night• Open for programming: – 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. Mon-Thurs – 2:30-11pm Fri. – 1:00-11p.m. Sat• $5 one time membership fee• Open to ages 12-18• Staff of 18 (4 program coordinators, 1 Manager and 1 Admin staff) Along with 6 full time staff and 7 part time staff that work on the floor
  49. 49. PART 3Evaluate & Evolve the Idea
  50. 50. Part 3.1- Evaluate Impact & OutcomesYouth Impact•Confidence due to positive relationships with staff•Sense of social responsibility and self accountability•Employment Aptitude and exposure to the principles of business & work•Sense of belonging, community integration, broader social base•Higher-risk youth more likely to overcome addictions or mental problemssince the programs run from the building
  51. 51. Community Impact!Community Impact•Economic impacts (Conestoga College, A&W and so)•Decrease in Drop out rate and increase in post-secondary education•Skilled & knowledgeable youth workforce•Lower crime rate, and 911 prank calls decreased by 75%•Fewer teen pregnancies•Less hospital emergency room visits from Youth•Provincially recognized as Youth Friendly, socially excluded youth nowfeel a sense of belonging in the community•Youth are civically engaged, genuinely care about their community•Changed perception of youth, mutually respectful relationship betweenbusinesses & youth
  52. 52. Program Stats
  53. 53. Measuring Outcomes•Setting benchmarks•Reviewing and evaluation is key•Developing an evaluation tool kit•Creation of a mentoring tracking sheet
  54. 54. Part 3.2- Evolving change •Started as a vision for a 2 room youth centre in a school •Seeding funding was received & partnerships began •Technology Centre added •Increased staffing & addition of field experts •Social enterprises and skill development •Ongoing program development & youth engagement •Leverage further funding opportunities •Expanded services offered at Fusion through other groups
  55. 55. Part 3.3- Branding & Marketing
  56. 56. Branding & Marketing•Brand recognition•Trade mark•Staff visibility
  57. 57. Research• Formal partnership with University of Guelph the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development• Research Fusion as a social innovation model by tracking the development process of the organization• Impact assessment: youth, families and community
  58. 58. Research• The development of an ongoing data collection system for program evaluation and data collection analysis• Evaluate the cost diversion, social return on investment and human capital created through the Fusion Youth Centre model• Develop a case for replicating this model across the province
  59. 59. Research• Capacity Development: Provide educational opportunities to encourage ongoing development of Fusion’s organizational capacity• Evaluation Methods: Developing appropriate data collections systems and protocols for data analysis• Ongoing Funding: Seek out opportunities for secure funding
  60. 60. Part 3.2- Sharing the Model•NEW website launched- in 2011 resources to be made available•Developing a 5 year strategic plan•Best Practice Research- University Study•5 year annual report•Developing a Municipal tool kit•Engage the entire community… Youth are the future GET out there and be involved. This is a Municipal Issue…. Don’t pass the buck
  61. 61. It must be meaningful & authenticIt should focus on what matters most to your youth and your communityCreate your own “home grown” modelRelationships should remain the coreProvincial Framework- Working with all levels of governmentIf you cut too many corners, you end up going in circles – Chinese Proverb
  62. 62. For more information! OnlineVirtual