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Habitat for Humanity, Fanshawe College and the City of London Report Success of the Argyle Community Career and Connect Program
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The Argyle Community Career and Connect (ACCC) project has been a great success since the two year program was launched in February, 2014. This game-changing partnership focussed on at-risk youth in the Argyle community of London, Ontario. The three key partners involved were: Fanshawe College, Community Employment Services (CES); the City of London and Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario.

The project connected at-risk youth to hands-on opportunities for skills development and training, while completing home repairs and other projects in the community. ACCC is proud to announce the completion of the last construction project. ACCC took a "community driven” approach to bringing the resources together to meet the needs of both area youth and the community, with a goal of leaving a legacy. Habitat for Humanity managed and coordinated the program on behalf of the partnership. The program was funded by the London Community Foundation through a Community Vitality Grant and was supported by all three partner organizations.

“Fanshawe College was honored to have partnered with the City of London and Habitat for Humanity on this community project,” said Darlene O’Neill, Senior Manager, Employment and Student Entrepreneurial Services, Fanshawe College. “The results have exceeded our expectations, youth are more engaged, they are inspired and the community has become stronger. Much thanks to the London Community Foundations’ Vitality Fund for making this vision become a reality."

During the project, 32 youth participated with 23 people moving on to employment or post-secondary education. Participants received certificates for first aid, working at heights and other related training as well as personal safety equipment. Volunteer trades people acted as mentors and teachers to share their skills. Each participant also had an opportunity to develop a personal education and career plan with staff at Fanshawe’s Community Employment Services.

Jeff Duncan, CEO Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario said, “The ACCC pilot program and the partnerships we developed have enriched our organization while supporting our mission to serve families and improve their housing and quality of life. We have enjoyed great success both with the youth and what they have accomplished and because there is a real tangible legacy of improvements in the community. We have been honoured to work with the City of London and Fanshawe College in this effort and look forward to doing so again in the future. Habitat and the partners applaud the London Community Foundation’s vision to build a vital community and for the support in making this project a reality.”

Eighteen projects were completed, assisting low-income families and seniors, as well as non-profit organizations with improvements they could not otherwise afford to do. Thirty-two community partnerships were established with businesses, trades people, churches and other non-profit agencies. The goal, which we accomplished, was to strengthen people and improve neighbourhoods.

Martha Powell, President and CEO, London Community Foundation said, "We are thrilled to see this project come to fruition. The Community Vitality grant program seeks to support innovative, collaborative initiatives that tackle pressing social needs in our community; Communities, Career & Connect did exactly that. We are proud to have contributed to the success and impact of this project. This is a prime example of how we can build a strong vital community through collaboration."

Fanshawe College and ACCC received the Ministry of Training Colleges and Universities 2015 Employment Ontario Leadership Award for Collaboration.

For more information on this joint program or other habitat for Humanity initiatives, please contact Sharon Brennan Habitat for Humanity - Heartland Ontario Manager, Marketing, Communications and Programs at 519 455-6623 or by email at Brennan