Inspiring a New Generation of Manufacturing and Trades Professionals with the help of an Ontario Trillium Foundation Grant


Halton Peel Region – In the 2020-2021 school year, Junior Achievement (JA) Central Ontario received a $34,500 SEED grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) to inspire high school students as they plan future careers in the skilled trades and manufacturing industries.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, JA Central Ontario has helped over Ontarians with employment opportunities using this OTF grant,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, President of the Treasury Board of Ontario and Member of Provincial Parliament for Brampton South. “Non-profit organizations like JA Central Ontario are a crucial and valued part of our community, especially here in Brampton.”

Supported by this generous funding, JA Central Ontario delivered 3 World of Choices: Manufacturing & Trades workshops – virtual, educational events for high school students led by JA with support from industry experts. Throughout the 2020-21 school year, these virtual events welcomed a total of 642 students from the Halton Peel community. Hosted virtually, the workshops ensured students benefitted from JA Central Ontario’s expert advice and support during the COVID-19 pandemic, when many were studying remotely.

World of Choices: Manufacturing & Trades workshops brought together professionals from a wealth of skilled trades, manufacturing, and services career paths. From construction, engineering, and manufacturing, to hospitality, catering, and beauty – JA Central Ontario ensured diverse representation of these important industries to inspire students as they plot their career paths.

“We are grateful to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for funding this fantastic opportunity for students in the Halton Peel community”, said Jennifer Holmes Weier, President and CEO, JA Central Ontario. “World of Choices: Manufacturing & Trades events provided students with the opportunity to learn about career possibilities across these vital, growing sectors. Through these unique learning experiences, students were inspired to explore opportunities and life choices that will empower them as they plan their futures in a changing world.”

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About JA Central Ontario

JA Central Ontario’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a changing global economy.

Through digitally-enabled, in-school and after-school learning, JA students gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to realize the opportunities, and realities, of work, school, and life.

JA experiences and events empower young people to think about and plan their futures, supported by our network of educators, corporate partners, and volunteers. JA students consider how the career paths they take, the financial decisions they make – and perhaps the companies they create – will be not only successful, but also have positive social and environmental impact.

Students benefit on this journey from the mentorship and inspiration of our JA network – professionals who share real-world experience of navigating, shaping, and re-shaping their own stories.

JA Central Ontario is responsible for the geographic area bounded by Barrie, Bowmanville and Burlington.

About the Ontario Trillium Foundation

The Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is an agency of the Government of Ontario, and one of Canada’s leading granting foundations. Last year, nearly $112M was invested into 1,384 community projects and partnerships to build healthy and vibrant communities and strengthen the impact of Ontario’s non-profit sector. In 2020/21, OTF supported Ontario’s economic recovery by helping non-profit organizations rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19.  Visit to learn more.

Media Contact:

Jenny Early

Director, Marketing & Communications
JA Central Ontario