The federal government is investing $2.3 million in creating hundreds of additional summer jobs for at-risk youth in the Toronto area.

Marco Mendicino, who is the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement at Lawrence Heights Community Centre on Tuesday morning.

He said that the funding is going towards creating an additional 560 summer jobs for at-risk youth in the GTA under the federal Canada Summer Jobs Program. The investment brings the total number of jobs created under the program in the GTA to more than 7,000.

“This is all about investing in these young people who are the future of the City of Toronto and the future of the country,” Mayor John Tory said at the announcement. “This investment sounds like a lot and it is but it is absolutely the tiniest investment when it comes to the returns we are going to get from developing the self-confidence and the self-respect and the life skills of these young people.”

The federal government’s definition of at-risk youth covers anyone who meets one of eight categories, including recent immigrants, youth with disabilities, youth who have not competed high school and youth who have not previously been employed.

Tory said that by giving young people who might otherwise have trouble accessing the job market a leg up, the program goes a long way towards “making sure the city stays a place of opportunity for everybody.”

“When I have talked to the young people involved in these programs it isn’t so much about their responsibilities; it is about self-confidence, it is about self-respect, it is about having some responsibility,” he said. “These are all significant personal benefits to the development of these young people.”