Celebrating youth entrepreneurship in Halton

Halton is committed to growing the Regional economy and we know that helping young people start businesses today will add to our success in the future. Entrepreneurship plays an integral role in innovation, job creation and local economic growth. It is important  we provide the next generation with the tools and supports that they need to succeed and one way that we continue to support entrepreneurship in Halton is through our youth entrepreneurship programs.

On Tuesday, November 17, the Halton Region Small Business Centre (SBC) hosted a special youth entrepreneurship networking event in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week that runs November 15 -21.  The event will provide youth interested in entrepreneurship with an opportunity to hear directly from past program participants and mentors and to learn about the supports and resources that are available directly through the SBC.

The Centre offers three programs for youth and young adults, each designed to offer training, mentoring and financing. There are also business planning and start-up resources available to assist youth who are applying for these programs.

The programs include:

Futurpreneur Canada:  The Halton Region Small Business Centre is the local community partner for Futurpreneur Canada, which is a national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and resources to aspiring business owners ages 18-39.

Starter Company: This entrepreneurship program is designed to help young people in Ontario between the ages of 18-29 start, grow or buy a small business. The program provides training, mentoring and an opportunity for a micro-grant of up to $5,000 for eligible participants.

Summer Company: This program offers business training and mentoring to enterprising students’ ages 15-29 to help them start and run their own summer business. Successful applicants receive up to $1,500 in the spring to help with the startup costs and an additional $1,500 upon completion of their experience.

Halton’s economy is strong and we are committed to keeping it strong for generations to come. The Halton Region Small Business Centre is proud to offer entrepreneurs of all ages the supports they need to be successful.  Find out more on SBC’s newly revamped web pages by visiting haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dialing 311.  You can also join the conversation on Twitter (@HaltonBusiness) or on Facebook (facebook.com/haltonbusiness).

Committed to delivering safe, affordable, accessible housing

As one of Canada’s fastest growing communities, Halton’s population has risen by 35 per cent to over 520,000 residents in the last decade. Under the growth targets set out in the Provincial Places to Grow Act, our region is expected to surpass 750,000 by 2031. In order to accommodate this growth, providing a mix of housing that is affordable for all income levels is critical to ensuring we maintain the healthy and complete Halton communities we have today.

Halton Region has an excellent track record of delivering affordable housing services to residents including access to affordable market housing, subsidized housing (rent-geared-to-income and the Rent Supplement Program), housing with supports (for those in need of physical or mental supports) and an emergency shelter program. The Region invests $26 million annually to provide assisted housing options to low income residents and has created close to 1,000 new affordable/assisted housing opportunities since 2007. We are proud of this important investment in our community to support residents whose wellbeing depends on these important services.

We remain committed to creating more affordable housing in our community to meet the future needs of Halton residents. Through the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Update 2014 – 2024, our 10-year housing roadmap, Halton will invest $107 million to create a minimum of 550 new housing opportunities by 2024. We will achieve this by working closely with the province in an effort to end homelessness in our community.

Access to safe and stable housing is a vital part of a healthy community. As our Region rapidly grows, careful planning and ongoing investment in our affordable housing portfolio will ensure that the future needs of all residents are met and that Halton continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Keeping Halton moving with the Active Transportation Master Plan

One of the reasons Halton is such a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire is our commitment to delivering high-quality infrastructure including a comprehensive transportation system. On November 12, the Region took another positive step in supporting and promoting a first-class transportation network by endorsing in principle the new Active Transportation Master Plan (ATMP).

“Active Transportation” refers to any form of human-powered transportation, including walking, cycling, in-line skating, skateboarding and moving with mobility devices. It’s about getting to work or school, going shopping, running errands, visiting friends and family, or taking other trips by walking, biking or rolling.

The ATMP will help promote an integrated, sustainable and efficient transportation network for residents, businesses and commuters, as well as encourage active transportation and allow residents and visitors to travel in a safe and efficient manner. By working in partnership with our Local Municipal partners, this long-range plan will help address and accommodate cycling and walking along Regional roads to fulfill transportation needs throughout the region to the year 2031.

Through the implementation of this plan, approximately $110 million will be invested to build 470 kilometres of new on-road infrastructure (i.e., bike lanes) and an additional 359 kilometres of new off-road infrastructure (i.e., sidewalks and multi-use trails) along Regional roads.

The ATMP is designed to support policies and growth set out in the Halton Transportation Master Plan (TMP) – the Road to Change, which seeks to provide a balanced and multi-modal transportation system serving all road users, including cyclists and pedestrians. The ATMP will provide Halton with a network of safe, well-connected and convenient routes and provide facilities that will give people greater choice in how they travel, while helping encourage physical activity.

There are many potential benefits of active transportation:

  • Transportation: improved road safety for all road users, reduced congestion, and increased access and transportation choices
  • Health: increased physical activity and reduced chronic disease
  • Environment: improved air quality and contributions to vibrant communities
  • Economy: reduced household travel costs, support to local businesses and support for Halton as the destination for cycling tourism in Ontario

Halton’s commitment to planning complete and vibrant communities continues to be one of the reasons Halton is a great place to live.  If you would like to learn more about the Active Transportation Master Plan, please visit halton.ca/activetransportation or dial 311.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Introducing newcomers to services and supports in Halton

NewcomerWEB4On October 20, 2015, Halton Region hosted our sixth annual Halton Services Information for Newcomers to Canada (HSINC) event at Halton Regional Centre. This half-day event helps newcomers learn about the programs and services we provide, supporting their efforts to settle in Canada and our region.

NewcomerWEB1The event attracted over 200 newcomers, who explored informative displays and interacted with program staff and volunteers. Several local non-profit agencies also attended with their own displays, sharing information about essential community services available to Halton families. This event provided guests with the opportunity to not only learn more about Halton’s community supports, but also to practice their English language skills in a positive and supportive environment.

NewcomerWEB5In Halton, we welcome, respect, value and celebrate the diversity of all residents, and we aim to provide services in a way that meets the needs of everyone. HSINC highlighted this commitment by allowing a variety of Regional program areas to showcase how they support individuals and families. For example, HaltonParents introduced our guests to the Region’s spectacular parenting programs and resources, including the extensive information available online. Likewise, Emergency Preparedness staff directed newcomers to information and resources that can help them prepare for a possible emergency in our community.

NewcomerWEB3The purpose of HSINC events is to welcome and integrate new Canadians by teaching them how to access supports that will improve their quality of life. A wide range of backgrounds, traditions and religions is a source of strength, and newcomers bring perspectives and talents that enhance the vibrancy of the Halton community. That is why connecting people and services is such an important priority – each new resident becomes an equal partner in continuing to build a bright, inclusive future for us all.

On behalf of Regional Council, I would like to thank everyone who worked to make this event a success. By working together to promote inclusion and keep newcomers informed, we help foster a welcoming and supportive community for everyone in Halton.

As always, if you have any regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Honouring our nation’s heroes on Remembrance Day

Each year on November 11, we remember and reflect upon the courage of those who have fought to keep our country safe. Remembrance Day is our opportunity to recognize the heroes who secured our rights and freedoms and those of future generations.

The efforts and sacrifices of Canada’s veterans have had a tremendous impact on our high quality of life. It is through their selflessness that we are able to embrace cultural diversity, freedom of speech, a democratic government and the rule of law. While we pride ourselves on our ability to promote peace and acceptance, Remembrance Day reminds us that this peace comes with a cost.

Those who have served this country, both at home and in conflicts overseas, demonstrate the importance of patriotism, devotion, honour and determination. They have taken great personal risks for the good of us all, representing the greatest strengths of the community we share. In this way, everyone living and working in Halton is connected to Canada’s veterans – our society is their legacy, the mark they leave on the world.

Our veterans’ actions and sacrifices are testaments of their hope for the future, and this hope formed the foundation of the vibrant, inclusive communities that we enjoy in Halton today. Through education, recognition and service, we honour the heroic efforts of our veterans as well as those who actively protect our way of life, preserving their legacy for generations to come. When you wear your poppy and observe a moment of silence on Remembrance Day, you honour the past as we look forward to a bright and peaceful future together.

On behalf of Halton Region, I invite all residents to honour those who have fought for the peace and freedom we enjoy here in Canada. Today, please join me in thanking the brave men and women who have courageously served our country in wars and conflicts past, as well as those who continue to serve us today. By honouring our nation’s heroes, we celebrate the values that keep Halton a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Successful job fair and exciting new youth employment program

On October 20, Halton Region hosted its second job fair in 2015 at the Burlington Convention Centre, where more than 500 job seekers met with over 50 local employers from a diverse range of industries including technology, government, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and healthcare.  Attendees had the opportunity to network, meet hiring managers and take advantage of a professional résumé and cover letter review service.

The job fair also provided an opportunity to promote Youth Job Connection, an exciting new partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities designed to enhance the skills of youth who experience multiple barriers to employment.

Youth Job Connection provides intensive, paid training and job placement support to eligible youth between 15 and 29 who are not working, in school or training. Under this program, Employment Halton assists participants to prepare for, find and retain suitable jobs.  The program offers pre-employment training, coaching, and job placements with employers who demonstrate an intention to hire the participant after the program placement ends.

Through events and programs such as the job fair and Youth Job Connection – as well as youth programs through our Small Business Centre – Halton continues to demonstrate its commitment to help all residents obtain meaningful employment.  Our commitment to connecting employers and job seekers helps maintain Halton’s low unemployment rate and ensures that our youth get the essential skills, training and experience they need to be successful.

For information about the services offered by Employment Halton, visit halton.ca/employmenthaltonhaltonjobs.ca or dial 311.  To learn more about youth programs offered through Halton Region’s Small Business Centre, please visit halton.ca/smallbusiness.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Halton Real Estate Forum – Gear up for Growth

Welcoming the crowd and speaking about why investors choose Halton.
Dave Carreiro, Executive Vice President, First Gulf, Gavin Reiff, Vice President of Asset Management, Fengate Capital Management, Marc Danko, Vice President Office Leasing, Cushman & Wakefield
Milton Cycling Academy elite cyclists:
Scott Laliberte
Sarah Rasmussen
Annie Foreman-Mackie
Special guest, Steve Bauer, Milton Cycling Academy Head Coach, former Olympian and Tour de France icon

On October 27, Halton Region’s Economic Development team hosted the sixth annual Real Estate Forum, entitled “Gear Up for Growth,” which took place at an exciting new Halton venue, The Mattamy National Cycling Centre, in Milton. This location was perfect for this event because it speaks to what is unique about Halton and why our region is a great place to live, work and do business. We have access to world-class venues. We offer a high quality of life. We are committed to delivering high-quality infrastructure. We support research and innovation… and these are just a few reasons why Halton is ahead of the competition when it comes to being the best location to invest.

The Halton Real Estate Forum is an event for industrial and commercial real estate brokers, developers and businesses to learn about why companies are choosing to do business in Halton. Over 150 attendees networked over breakfast, generated leads through face-to-face meetings and learned all about the latest Halton investment information and forecasting trends for the real estate market in the region from some of the area’s most influential industry experts and regional staff.

As part of the Greater Golden Horseshoe, Halton is designated as one of the “Places to Grow” in Ontario by the provincial government and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. Halton has experienced significant growth over the last 20 years and the region will continue to grow in population, workforce numbers, residential and commercial development, and in entrepreneurial activity. With this continued growth comes an abundance of opportunities for investment, which is one of the key reasons that businesses choose Halton as their location of choice.

Here are some statistics about the Region’s projected growth:

  • Over 530,000 residents — projected to exceed 1,000,000 by 2041
  • Workforce of nearly 280,981 — projected to reach 470,000 by 2041
  • 5,000 hectares of employment lands, with another 1,565 hectares slated for development
  • 19 per cent average annual growth in non-residential construction values since 2004

Both commercial/industrial and residential real estate activity are important indicators of economic growth. Real estate development throughout Halton region remains strong and positive. Low vacancy rates and strong demand will continue to stimulate development and generate new investment opportunities.

A number of factors encourage and support growth throughout Halton: a commitment to well-planned and well-built infrastructure, ample employment lands for development and above-average lifestyles for residents. In addition, Halton Region has a dedicated Economic Development team that works closely with companies who are considering investing or relocating, to identify business incentives and location preferences in the region. With the team’s knowledge and contacts they can provide a full range of support services and essential information on Halton’s economy, labour force, business costs, hiring, infrastructure, real estate and lifestyle.

As Halton Region continues to Gear up for Growth, we are certain that our competitive edge as a leading business location will persist in bringing outstanding investors into Halton. For more information you can connect with the Economic Development team on halton.ca/invest or on Twitter,Facebook and LinkedIn.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn orFacebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”