Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for

Ottawa Centre

Catherine McKenna

Your member of parliament for

Ottawa Centre


Skills Development

Employment Resource Centres for Youth

YMCA Employment Access Centre (Argyle and Merivale) 

  • Personalized employment consultation to help identify your goals and guide you through your job search.
  • Help building a resume and cover letter, and preparation for your job interviews.
  • Information on training, apprenticeships, subsidized work placements, community supports and job postings.
  • Free access to computers, photocopier, printer, fax, internet and Wi-Fi.

Youth Services Bureau (YSB) Employment Services

  • Career counselling; interview prep; job fairs; job placements
  • 20-60 hours of paid training to prepare youth for workplace
  • Job placement for up to six months, with support and funding for employers
  • Mentorship, coaching and help with school/ work transitions


  • Youth (15 and 29) who are not in work, school or training and who face complex/ multiple barriers to employment are eligible
  • High School students (15 and 18) who are facing challenging life circumstances, and who need help transitioning between school and work

Operation Come Home: IncubationWorks  – Entrepreneurship
Incubator Works is an entrepreneurship program designed to provide at-risk youth ages 16-29 with hands on business developing skills. To gain more knowledge about small business operations and social enterprises, youth will shadow one of Operation Come Home’s five social enterprises over a course of 12 weeks (BottleWorks, BYBO, FarmWorks, FoodWorks or Repurpose). Youth will also participate in 5 workshops to be held at Operation Come Home, and learn how to develop a professional business plan. Once all hours are completed, selected youth will have the opportunity to pitch for a micro grant to start their own enterprise or socially “conscious” business. Mentorship and expertise will be provided for at least 3 months after each business start launches.

Operation Come Home: Social Enterprises
FoodWorks: A social enterprise that engages at-risk youth in Ottawa in the development of culinary skills. Our participants are trained and supervised by a professional chef. Our goal is to employ at risk youth, teaching them viable real world kitchen skills. Our customers benefit from a chef prepared high quality from-scratch meal brought directly to their door.

FarmWorks: A social enterprise at Operation Come Home (OCH), offering youth between the ages of 16-30 a safe space to develop skills while learning about food, farming, and agriculture. Our goal is to provide a broad range of skills and experiences to youth to ensure future employment options in horticulture, agriculture, hospitality, or to facilitate returning to school in a related field, while developing personal and professional skills through their FarmWorks experience. 

BottleWorks: A social enterprise that employs at-risk youth for a twelve week period. Picking up from local Ottawa restaurants, bars, hotels, condominiums and conference facilities, employees of BottleWorks collect empty alcohol bottles and cans and issue a charitable tax receipt to the business afterwards. While learning skills such as punctuality, team work, initiative and customer service, youth are also paired with a support worker to build resumes, find future employment, and work to overcome any other obstacles that they may be facing.

Please note that this list is not comprehensive; if you think we missed out on any organization or program, please do not hesitate to send your recommendations to