The Ontario 4-H Council, Junior Farmers and Rural Youth Employment Network have formed a unique partnership to hire Rural Youth Coordinators to provide support to volunteers and members and to build stronger rural communities. Through funding from Human Resources Development Canada - Youth Initiatives, seven positions have been created in regions throughout Ontario.
The Eastern Region (Zone 1 counties Dundas, Frontenac, Glengarry, Grenville, Lanark, Leeds, Ottawa-Carleton, Prescott, Renfrew, Russell, Stormont ) Rural Youth Coordinator is Nancy Pirie, Nepean. Nancy can be reached by telephone or fax at: (613) 794 4226, or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The outcomes that are expected from the one-year positions vary for each
of the partners. For 4-H it will be: Investigation and development of a 4-H in Schools program;
Capacity building for the 4-H program and the rural community in which it operates; Support to volunteers involved on regional and local 4-H boards and associations; Training other young people to help with capacity building; Building Strategic alliances.
For Junior Farmers: Building Junior Farmer awareness among potential members; More young people involved in community betterment projects; Providing training to other young people; Building Strategic alliances.
For the Rural Youth Employment Network (RYEN): Building awareness of the RYEN tool; Exposure of youth to businesses and other youth organizations; Experience in tracking and recording useful statistics; Building Strategic alliances.
Elinor Humphries, Director of Development for the Ontario 4-H Program indicates if this pilot is successful, more youth will be involved in leadership development. Rural youth will be identifying what work needs to be done and in some cases creating jobs in rural communities or finding fulfilling employment. These initiatives are integral to a more self-sufficient rural community.
RYEN, which can be found at www.ruraljobs.com allows individuals to develop and update their personal resume with an online resume builder, participate in online discussion forums, ask questions and share ideas about their experience with their peers. "We encourage potential employers and agencies to submit job and volunteer position descriptions to this searchable database, which doubles as a job matching and referral tool," states David Johnston, RYEN project manager. Key words from job descriptions and online resumes can be used to match employment opportunities with the skills, career interests and geographical
location of registered youth.
The purpose of the Junior Farmers' Association is to build future rural leaders through self help and community betterment. Junior Farmers provides a chance and a challenge for youth to explore their individual talents and potential in many areas, but with a special emphasis on developing leadership skills and understanding how to work with people. It encourages the involvement of members in projects of a service nature which better the local community and beyond, demonstrating an interest and concern for social and economic needs. For more
information on Junior Farmers see www.jfao.on.ca
The Ontario 4-H Council will administer the Rural Youth Coordinator program but the Coordinators are accountable to all three partners. The 4-H program fosters the personal development of rural youth, 10 to 21 years of age. Through 4-H, young people develop self-confidence and a sense of responsibility. Through project work and interactions with each other, 4-H members cultivate skills in communications, leadership, problem solving and goal setting, which will serve them well into the next millennium. The 4-H website can be found at