Halton resources to get you on track for the school year

It is the first week of September and parents and children across the region are starting to settle into the back to school routines. I remember how busy the start of the school year was for my children and want to let parents know that halton.ca offers many great resources to help you and your child transition to the new school year.

  • Ready, Set, Go! is an online resource for parents of children starting kindergarten. You can access resources including school calendars, checklists to prepare your child for school and health information on topics such as growth and development. This section also links you to the many resources available in the Halton community to parents with young school-age children.
  • Ready, Set, Whoa! is an online resource for parents of teens entering high school. On these pages you will find resources including blogs, videos and links to community resources that can help you and your child manage the change and challenges faced when the high school years begin.
  • HaltonParents connects you with public health nurses and child development staff who provide a wealth of information about parenting topics that cover all years from birth to young adulthood. Our HaltonParents team are active daily on Twitter, Facebook and the HaltonParents blog, providing tips and advice to help you in your parenting journey.
  • Halton.ca/immunize provides a great explanation of what parents need to do to ensure immunization records are up to date for school. You can find out what immunizations are required for school and use our online reporting tool to update your records. All immunization records must be reported to your child’s school and the Halton Region Health Department.
  • Halton.ca/healthyliving links you to resources that can help you and your family build physical activity and healthy eating into your daily routine. Walking and cycling to school are great ways to be active. Our page on cycling and pedestrian safety for children can help you teach your child how to be safe when being active on the way to school on their bike, scooter or when walking.

Keeping you and your family safe and healthy is an important priority for Halton Region. I encourage you to take time to access the resources I have listed above. Supporting parents and families helps make 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 @garycarrhalton, LinkedIn 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.”

Summer Company 2014: Helping Halton’s young entrepreneurs thrive

Entrepreneurship plays an integral role in innovation, job creation and economic growth. With small businesses contributing an increasing amount to Halton’s strong economy, Regional Council is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs as they establish themselves and expand. One way that we support entrepreneurship in the Region is through our youth entrepreneurship programs including Summer Company.

Every year, Halton Region works with the Ontario Government to provide support to student entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 29 to help them start and run their own business through the Summer Company program. Successful applicants receive hands-on business training and mentoring and can receive up to $3,000 in funding to help them get their business off the ground. Programs like Summer Company provide the next generation of entrepreneurs with the necessary training, mentorship and support that can help put them in a position to succeed.

The goal of the Summer Company program is to support students interested in entrepreneurship as a possible career goal by helping them launch a summer business.  This year’s participants are extremely talented and were selected from a group of applicants throughout the Halton area.  The 2014 summer companies include:

  • Trevor Clost, Hockequip, Burlington
  • Luke Corbeth, Corby Car Cleaners, Oakville
  • Paul DeMarco, DeMarco Business Services, Oakville
  • Cory Hudson, Ambient Audio Canada, Oakville
  • Yara Kashlan, A Ray Creative Publishing, Burlington
  • David Kong, Eco-Space, Oakville
  • Tom Lethbridge, Cutting Edge Language, Burlington
  • Jason Lum, JXL Apparel, Oakville
  • Cameron Mulligan, First Waves Swim School, Oakville
  • Thomas Neely, The Boys of Summer Landscape & Lawn Care, Georgetown
  • Dragos Rotaru, Orchard Audio & Design, Oakville
  • Anna Starkova, Blue Hat Caricatures, Oakville

While Summer Company is coordinated locally through the Halton Region Small Business Centre, we rely on community volunteer business advisors to help provide extra support and to mentor the students. I would like to thank all of our volunteers for taking the time to help this year’s group of students. Our 2014 mentors include:

  • Tom Cochrane, Retired Businessman with Oakville Business Advisory Group, Oakville
  • Liz Kush, Senior Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada, Burlington
  • Ivana Pejakovic, Empowerment coach for Women/Director of R&D, Bruno LoGreco Inc., Oakville
  • Steve Sprenger, Senior Manager, BDO Canada, Burlington
  • Phil Von Massow, Owner of CPL Group, Oakville

The Region’s strong economy relies on people with a resilient entrepreneurial spirit. We are committed to developing and supporting our local small businesses and those who are considering becoming an entrepreneur. Whether you’re thinking about opening a business, formulating your business plan, expanding an established small business or looking for youth entrepreneurship programs, the Halton Region Small Business Centre is here to help.

For more information about the Halton Region Small Business Centre please visit www.haltonsmallbusiness.ca or dial 311. You can also follow the Halton Region Small Business Centre on Twitter at @HaltonEcDev, on Facebook and on WordPress.

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.”

Summer Company 2013 – encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of meeting with this year’s claSummer Companyss of Summer Company students. Summer Company, a provincially funded program, helps students aged 15 to 29 start and grow their own businesses.

Halton Region’s Small Business Centre coordinates the Summer Company program in Halton for the Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and delivers it with the help of volunteer business advisors from the community.

The program aims to support students interested in entrepreneurship as a possible career goal.  Participating students receive cash awards of up to $3,000 – an upfront award of up to $1,500 to put toward start-up costs and up to $1,500 upon successful completion of the program. 

This year’s participants were selected from numerous applicants from the Halton area.  Their businesses include everything from funnel cakes, art, photography, cards and graphics to kid’s camps, swimming lessons, healthy snacks, web design and imports from Morocco.

Entrepreneurship creates jobs and helps our economy grow. Young entrepreneurs play a key role in ensuring our economy continues to prosper. Summer Company gives participants a chance to start their businesses off on the right foot, with business coaching, training and mentoring to help them along the way.

This year’s mentors are:

  • Liz Kush, Senior Account Manager, Business and Personal Markets RBC, South Halton Market
  • Tom Cochran, Consultant, Halton Business Advisory Group
  • Phil Von Massow, Owner, CPL Group
  • Nelia Taylor, Certified General Accountant, BDO Canada LLP

And here are this year’s summer companies:

  • The Funnel Cloud, Halton Hills
  • Laura Watson Artworks, Halton Hills
  • Felipewithf, Burlington
  • Swim 1 on 1, Oakville
  • VuPoynt Media Group, Oakville
  • SMART Fit Camps, Oakville
  • C.E.O. Illustrated Products, Oakville
  • Carson Visser Fine Art, Burlington
  • Paper Tiger Studios, Oakville
  • Rachael Heart’s, Oakville
  • Sustainable Trade, Burlington

Congratulations to these enterprising young people!

For further information visit www.halton.ca/summercompany or find them on Facebook.

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.”

Halton’s 2013 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar delivered to homes beginning this week

Burlington

Hannah Kim’s winning artwork.

The 2013 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar, which has everything you need to know about waste collection in Halton Region, will be delivered to homes starting this week.  The Calendar is effective February 1 and includes a schedule for Blue Box, GreenCart, garbage, bulk and yard waste collection, information on the Halton Waste Management Site and details about upcoming waste collection changes that begin April 1, 2013. Residents can also view their Waste Collection Calendar online at www.halton.ca/waste.

Halton Hills

Allison Scott’s winning artwork.

Review the calendar to learn more about all of the upcoming waste collection changes to assist in increasing our diversion rate to 65%  which will extend the life of Halton’s valuable landfill site and result in long-term savings of $15 million to future taxpayers.If you have not received your 2013 Waste Collection Calendar by January 28, please contact Access Halton by dialling 311 or use the online Service Request Tool at www.halton.ca/wastetools.

Milton_Page_01

Hannah Kellhammer’s winning artwork.

The 2013 Waste Management Guide and Collection Calendar once again features Halton’s talented young artists who were selected as the Calendar Cover Art Contest winners.  This year marked the fifth annual art contest that ran in the fall of 2012 asking children from kindergarten to grade eight to create the 2013 calendar cover using the theme of “recycle and compost more to make less garbage.” One entry from each of the four Local Municipalities was selected to have their creative design featured on the 2013 calendar cover.  Winners include Hannah Kim from Burlington, Allison Scott from Halton Hills, Hannah Kellhammer from Milton and Zohaa Zafar from Oakville.

Oakville

Zohaa Zafar’s winning artwork.

For more information please contact Access Halton by dialing 311 or 905-825-6000, toll free 1-866-442-5866, TTY 905-827-9833 or visit www.halton.ca. You can also follow Halton Waste Management on Twitter @HaltonRecycles, on Pinterest, visit their blog at www.haltonrecycles.ca and watch HaltonRecycles on YouTube.

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

Youth can make a difference!

Craig Kielburger addresses the audience at the Be a Hero awards ceremony.

Several talented Halton youth were recognized at an awards ceremony recently for our annual Be a Hero contest.  The awards ceremony for Be a Hero was held on November 21, 2012 and included Craig Kielburger, co-founder of Free The Children and Me to We.  Craig‘s message that “one youth can make a world of difference” nicely complemented the impressive contest submissions that were displayed around the room.  In Halton, our youth are making a difference and their contest submissions demonstrated they understood the importance of affordable housing and how it impacts people in our community.

In Halton, like many other communities in Ontario and Canada, we are building affordable housing units to ensure that individuals and families have access to safe and stable homes. A healthy community requires a range of housing options that meet the needs of all incomes and stages of life.  Youth, single adults, families, seniors, people with disabilities and recent immigrants all face challenges finding housing they can afford. The needs can be hard to see but they do exist. Housing is a complex issue that requires the support and involvement of government, the non-profit sector, the private sector and people in our community.

The top prize for this year’s contest was awarded to a class from Assumption Secondary School in Burlington for a YouTube video entitled “Home.” The class receives $1000 for their submission.  The additional prizes were awarded as follows:

  • 2nd Place – Cheryl Joseph from Iroquois Ridge High School (Oakville) for her poem “The Hard Way” ($500)
  • 3rd Place – Kylie Pinder from Nelson High School (Burlington) for her 3D model display “Everyone Deserves a Home” ($250)
  • 4th Place – Mayuri Mahendran from Iroquois Ridge High School (Oakville) for the book “A Place to Call Home” ($100)
  • 5th Place – A group of students from Craig Kielburger Secondary School (Milton) for their YouTube video about a youth struggling to find a home (Andrew Annis, Stephen Groulx-Mustafa, Sarah MacKay and Celena MacMaster) ($100)
  • Be a Hero Spirit Award – Iroquois Ridge High School for the highest number of participants in the contest

I congratulate all the contest participants for helping to raise awareness about the importance of affordable housing in Halton. Halton Region is committed through the Citizens’ Priorities – Halton Region’s 2011-2014 Action Plan to providing housing supports to address the needs of low income residents in Halton.  To learn more about this and Halton Region’s Comprehensive Housing Strategy visit  www.halton.ca.   To view my video blog about affordable and assisted housing, visit www.halton.ca/housingvideo.

YouTube videos submitted to this year’s contest are posted on the Be a Hero YouTube channel which can be accessed through www.halton.ca/beahero.

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

More than 4,000 students expected to attend the 2012 Halton Children’s Water Festival

Conservation Halton and Halton Region will be co-hosting the seventh annual Halton Children’s Water Festival (HCWF) from September 25 to 28, 2012 for students in grades two to five. The festival educates children about water, one of the world’s most precious resources, and is once again being held outdoors at the picturesque Kelso Conservation Area in Milton.

The Festival has grown every year since it began in 2006.  Grade two students were added in 2007, and the Festival expanded from three to four days in 2008. Attendance has also risen from 3,000 students in 2006 to more than 4,000 students expected in 2012.  After this year’s Festival, approximately 25,000 elementary school students will have had the opportunity to become environmental stewards while learning about water and the value of protecting and preserving it.

The Festival is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, The City of Burlington, The Town of Halton Hills, The Town of Milton and The Town of Oakville. This year, I once again have the pleasure of serving as one of the Festival’s Honorary Co-Chairs along with Conservation Halton Chairman John Vice.

Students will have a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way while covering Ontario curriculum requirements. New this year, French language activity centres will be piloted with grade five French Immersion students on Thursday, September 27.  The festival features nearly 60 curriculum-based, hands-on activity centres that incorporate four central water related themes including:

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Water Conservation and Protection
  • Water Health and Safety
  • Water and Society

The Festival is a community partnership that depends on over 150 volunteers each day to assist with various activities. Each year, Halton high school students, staff from partner organizations and community volunteers all generously offer their time, while gaining experience with community outreach, public speaking, teaching, and time management. The Festival also relies on in-kind and monetary support from organizations in the Halton community in order to make the festival easily accessible for Halton’s students. For more information on this year’s supporters visit www.hcwf.ca/supporterslist.htm.

The Festival is offered to Halton schools at a cost of $5 per child, which includes a full day at the Festival as well as transportation to and from the event. To learn more about the Halton Children’s Water Festival, please visit www.hcwf.ca.

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 or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”