Local Economic Opportunities

The Storefront is committed to enhancing community wealth in KGO.  Our community wealth building strategies involve building on momentum and opportunities that currently exist within our neighbourhood, linking people to opportunities and resources at the neighbourhood level and working collaboratively with funding partners, businesses, local institutions, service providers and others seeking to build on local strengths and talent.

Local Economic Resilience

With support from our partners at the Metcalf Foundation, The Storefront works to foster economic vitality and resilience in the KGO community, which has laid the foundation for our overall Community Wealth strategy.

We engage in inclusive processes so that all who work with us feel heard and understand their role in the development of an economically resilient neighbourhood.   We help create collaborative conditions so that many players can contribute to the economic vitality and prosperity of the community.  We do this by:

  • Building on community assets and learning from community members
  • Paying attention to emergent issues in the community
  • Promoting the notions of economic inclusion and resilience
  • Facilitating networks of people with varied interests and expertise who wish to improve economic well-being in East Scarborough
  • Brokering relationships between and among entrepreneurs, businesses and those who can provide them with information, resources and opportunities
  • Leveraging government incentives and programs to increase individual employment opportunities and local business viability
  • Sharing our learning and knowledge about a network approach to local economic development

Our Community Wealth Strategy has four key components:

Job Matching, Workforce Training and Job Readiness

The Storefront provides a range of employment supports, including Employment Ontario services. We support residents to search for work and build skills that are in demand.  We also facilitate access to training, focusing on specific training that local employers need.  

To access Employment Ontario programs and information for both individuals and employers, click the button below for a self-directed assessment:

EmploymentOntarioV2Fr

While we work in all sectors and with a wide range of businesses across the City, our focus is local.  By partnering with local intuitions and on local public infrastructure projects, we work towards ensuring that KGO residents are well positioned to successfully secure local jobs as and when they become available.

To receive individual job search/training support please contact our Coordinator of Community Employment Supports, Carolyn Saenz-Esterhuyse, at csaenz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 40

The Storefront’s philosophy is to foster a culture of support between KGO businesses and residents to promote local economic well-being.  Local businesses who hire local job seekers can increase the amount of money circulating in the community, which builds community wealth and strengthens both residents and businesses!

The Storefront can assist employers to post and fill jobs with suitably matched local candidates, provide space and resources for hiring, and connect to subsidized employee training opportunities.  Supports include:

  • Screening resumes to match qualified local job seekers to local job opportunities
  • Circulating job notices to a large number of job-seekers, and posting notices on our public job board
  • Space for hosting hiring events and interviews
  • Connections to supports and resources for your business
  • Computer or other training supports for employees hired through Storefront
  • Connections to the Canada Ontario Job Grant for training your existing employees
  • Wage incentives through Employment Ontario to offset the costs of on-the-job training for eligible employees

For more information, please contact our Local Economic Opportunities Specialist, Sanah Manickam, at smanickam@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 42

Local Business Capacity Building

The Storefront believes that local economic vitality depends on the success of local businesses and entrepreneurs.  We support local businesses to find ways to work together on shared issues, and by connecting them to information, resources and opportunities.  

The Storefront also offers local food entrepreneurs limited access to a commercial grade kitchen to test products, scale up production or cater one-off events.

For more information on how The Storefront can help your local business, please contact our Local Economic Opportunities Specialist, Sanah Manickam, at smanickam@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 42

East Scarborough Works: Local Institutions as Economic Drivers

East Scarborough’s largest employers and procurers of goods are public institutions.  Public/private partnerships of various kinds are being created for major local capital developments such as new campus buildings at UTSC, the Eglinton Crosstown rapid transit line, and the redevelopment of the Guild Inn.  These public projects will bring many years of construction and construction related jobs to the community.  

We are working with these projects and large economic players to help develop pathways between local residents and the jobs created by these initiatives.  Our goal is to ensure a strong connection between local employer demand and local supply of qualified local candidates, thereby ensuring that local infrastructure projects benefit local residents.

East Scarborough Works is a unique place-based workforce development strategy that has been chosen as a pilot project for the Ontario Poverty Reduction strategy, and is supported by the Atkinson Foundation.

For more information on East Scarborough Works, please contact our Manager, Local Economic Opportunities, Judy Josefowicz, at jjosefowicz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 34

Supporting and Leveraging Networks

Strong professional and resident networks are critical to building local community wealth.  The Storefront helps support strong local networks while at the same time connecting local work to broader networks.

As a critical part of our Community Wealth Strategy, The Storefront brings together, works with and learns from key collaborators including Employment Ontario service providers, the Scarborough Rotary Clubs, the Inclusive Local Economies Network, Friends of Guild Park & Gardens, and a local KGO business network.  Strong local networks can help us all link our efforts in a connected way, and work collaboratively to help build economic wellbeing in KGO and surrounding areas in East Scarborough.

For more information on networks and collaborations, please contact our Manager, Local Economic Opportunities, Judy Josefowicz, at jjosefowicz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 34

Are you looking for support to find work or upgrade your skills?

The Storefront’s Community Employment Specialists can help job seekers explore career options, build job search skills, connect to employment skills training and other supports, and match job seekers to job opportunities including subsidized job placements with employers.   We have self-serve options and one-on-one supports for those who register with us.

Our Employment Resource Centre (ERC) at 4040 Lawrence Ave East has dedicated computers that job seekers can use for free to look for work, develop their resumes or job applications, or support their businesses if they are self-employed.  The ERC also includes information about local job opportunities, and about other job-related supports and programs such as our Job Search Supports, Employment Counselling Drop-In, Computer Classes, Job Interview Prep and various Information Sessions and Workshops 

 

Registering with a Community Employment Specialist gives job seekers access to one-on-one supports including:

  • An exploration of skills, experience and career goals
  • Information about careers and occupations
  • Effective job search tools and strategies including resume and cover letter preparation
  • Employment opportunities such as on-the-job training and paid placements
  • Financial supports for uniforms, transportation, training and certifications
  • Connections to other community services and supports
  • Employment related events such as “Meet the Employer” and local job fairs

For more information, please contact our Coordinator of Community Employment Supports, Carolyn Saenz-Esterhuyse, at csaenz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 40

We also have a number of drop-in and self-serve options including regular workshops that can help you find a job, learn computer skills, or find the path to a new career.

Job Search Supports Drop-In provides community members with the opportunity to job search in a group environment, supplemented by one-on-one support.  Community members will learn about the variety of job search tools available, how to complete a resume, job search profiles and set up job alerts, how to research potential employers, how to attach and send a resume by email, and much more.  Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 am to 12:30 pm, Unit 110 A at 4117 Lawrence Ave East.

Employment Counselling Drop-In takes place on Tuesday afternoons and Thursday evenings. Community members will be seen on a first come first serve basis, where counsellors will begin to learn about your employment history and goals. This is a first step for accessing Employment Ontario services.

The Computer Class teaches local residents how to use computers and basic software.  It is designed for those with no skills to basic skills, and teaches essentials such as starting and shutting down computers, opening, saving and deleting files, using Microsoft Word and Excel, accessing the internet, and using email.  Spots are limited and residents need to register at 4040 Lawrence Ave East or by calling 416-208-9889.  Classes are Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-3 pm, and Fridays 10 am to 12:30 pm, Unit 110 A at 4117 Lawrence Ave East.

Second Career Information Sessions explain the eligibility criteria to apply for Second Career financial assistance – up to $28,000 for tuition, travel, books and other training-related costs to return to school and find a second career. You may be eligible if you were laid off any time after January 1, 2005.  Find out more by registering at 4040 Lawrence Ave East or by calling 416-208-9889

Toronto Employment and Social Services information sessions show participants how to create a profile on the City’s Employment Opportunities system and apply for available jobs.  Participants need to register at 4040 Lawrence Ave East or by calling 416-208-9889.  Sessions take place every second Wednesday at 1 pm.

Job Interview Prep/ English Conversation in the Workplace workshops are held twice a month on alternate Wednesdays for people who want to practice interviewing, or their English skills, to help them succeed in the workplace. 

Unique Workshops will be held every last Friday of the month, on topics such as workplace rights, employer expectations, job searching strategies, and more. 

Calendar of Events 

For more information, please contact our Coordinator of Community Employment Supports, Carolyn Saenz-Esterhuyse, at csaenz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 40

Are you a business in search of good employees? 

The Storefront’s philosophy is to support job seekers and businesses and foster a culture of support between KGO businesses and residents to promote local economic wellbeing.  Local businesses who hire local job seekers can increase the amount of money circulating in the community, which builds community wealth and strengthens both residents and businesses!

The Storefront can assist employers to post and fill jobs with suitably matched local candidates, provide space and resources for hiring, and connect to subsidized employee training opportunities.  Supports include:

  • Screening resumes to match qualified local job seekers to local job opportunities
  • Circulating job notices to a large number of job-seekers, and posting notices on our public job board
  • Space for hosting hiring events and interviews
  • Connections to supports and resources for your business
  • Computer or other training supports for employees hired through Storefront
  • Connections to the Canada Ontario Job Grant for training your existing employees
  • Wage incentives to offset the costs of on-the-job training for eligible employees

For more information, please contact our Local Economic Opportunities Specialist, Sanah Manickam, at smanickam@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 42

Are you looking for knowledge, resources or networking opportunities to grow your business?

Strong local businesses contribute to job creation, improve community income levels, and support local economic activity.  The Storefront is committed to helping the local business community prosper.

We support businesses by connecting them to a wide range of supports and resources including:

  • Individual consultations for early stage entrepreneurs
  • Information about business licensing, regulations, permits, etc.
  • Learning opportunities for businesses such as financial management, marketing and business plan development, building a website and social media presence
  • Micro-loan and mentorship opportunities through Access Community Capital Fund
  • Connecting to a KGO Business Network, for opportunities to get to know and learn from your business neighbours, share referrals, develop a stronger business voice in local issues, and work towards common goals and joint initiatives to strengthen economic prosperity in KGO

If you’re a business that is ready to hire, click here. [INSERT LINK to “Are you a businesses looking for good employees” section]

For more information, contact our Local Economic Opportunities Specialist, Sanah Manickam, at smanickam@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 42

Are you an entrepreneur looking to access our commercial-grade kitchen?

The Storefront’s Eco Food Hub is a commercial grade community kitchen designed to provide space for local resident groups, not-for-profit programs and entrepreneurs within the KGO neighbourhood.  The Eco Food Hub was part of a Community Design Initiative that saw over 50 local youth learn the skills to design the Eco Food Hub space [LINK TO CDI page].

Our Eco Food Hub Entrepreneur program offers local food entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their products and ideas in our commercial-grade kitchen.  The program provides free access to the kitchen, a few hours a week for up to one year.  It includes an initial consultation, referrals to business and personal development supports, and regular informal check-ins.  Entrepreneurs are required to have their Food Handler’s Certificate, insurance, and a business plan to be eligible to use the kitchen.  The Eco Food Hub is a nut-free facility.

For more information, contact our Local Economic Opportunities Specialist, Sanah Manickam, at smanickam@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 42

ILEN (Inclusive Local Economy Network)

The Inclusive Local Economy Network (ILEN) is a working group of stakeholders who seek to implement a responsive, strategic and collaborative place-based approach to bringing economic opportunity to KGO.  ILEN includes local businesses, government representatives, the local university and social service organizations

Key strategies include:

  • Business Network Development
  • Local Hiring and Procurement
  • Connections to Mentorship, Resources and Training
  • Connections to Community Events and Initiatives

 

For more information or to become a member of ILEN, please contact our Manager, Local Economic Opportunities, Judy Josefowicz, at jjosefowicz@thestorefront.org or 416-208-7197 x. 34