CreateAction is a unique program of the Canadian CED Network (CCEDNet) that enables youth across Canada to gain first-hand experience in community economic development. Plenty of undergraduate, postgraduate, and professional development programs in CED are available. But to gain work experience in CED, post-secondary students have had to leave the country.
This has now changed. Funded by Service Canada's Youth Employment Strategy for three years, CreateAction will help 60 interns to find work ranging from entrepreneurship, co-operatives, and renewable energy to communications, housing, and food sustainability.
The interns love it. So do the host CED organizations, for it helps to maintain their capacity as aging staff retire. Of 29 program graduates to date, 12 have since been hired by their hosts. The key? Hosts can recruit the right person for the work they need done - and they are making job coaching and mentorship integral to the placements. CCEDNet is also organizing peer-learning activities and networking for CreateAction participants. To expose still younger people to CED concepts, it has also started the Community Development Service Learning Initiative with funding from the McConnell Family Foundation.