New space offers training and employment opportunities for youth
George Brown College has launched a new fashion hub in Toronto’s Regent Park neighbourhood. The Fashion Exchange, at 63 Regent Park Blvd., will deliver training programs to prepare individuals for entry-level jobs in the fashion industry.
“The Fashion Exchange brings fashion and education together, forging new pathways to employment for residents of Regent Park,” said Anne Sado, president of George Brown.
In addition to delivering community-based skills training, Fashion Exchange will provide various opportunities for fashion students to the experience day to day challenges of apparel production. To help retain local talent and boost domestic apparel production in Toronto, the facility will also offer manufacturing support to local companies and emerging designers for the production of short runs and samples.
“Ensuring today’s youth are well prepared for the future is a key priority for this government,” said Brad Duguid, Ontario’s minister of economic development, employment, and infrastructure in a press release. “Our Youth Skills Connections fund – part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy – supports high-impact, sector-focused partnerships between business, labour and educators to give young people the industry-recognized skills and opportunities they need.”
According to a release, the facility is funded with $570,000 from the Ministry of Economic Development Employment and Infrastructure, the Daniels Corporation, the R. Howard Webster Foundation, JPMorgan Chase and Co., the State Street Foundation and Toronto Community Housing.
Developed in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and George Brown’s Community Partnerships Office, the apparel fit technician and industrial power sewing programs are open to youth ages 18-29, and run over 16 weeks through George Brown’s school of fashion studies.
The school of fashion studies currently delivers certificate, diploma and post-graduate programs that introduce students to fashion technology and the fundamentals of design, marketing, merchandising, manufacturing and fashion management.