Niagara Falls – United Way is pleased to announce it will be working with Brock University to research the impact of precarious employment in Niagara, thanks to a $74,700 Seed grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

“I am so pleased to see the United Way receiving Ontario Trillium funding – I have worked with the United Way extensively in my past and I know how wonderful an organization they are,” stated Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates. “I look forward to the outcomes of their research with Brock University on precarious employment in Niagara, which in my opinion is an incredibly important issue to study.”

Precarious employment refers to full or part-time workers employed on a casual or permanent basis who may receive no benefits, receive low wages, or face job insecurity.  Funds from the grant are being used to help with the cost of doing the research, staffing, producing materials, and renting meeting space.

“Precarious employment research was conducted by United Way Toronto & York Region and McMaster University several years ago,” explained United Way of Niagara Falls and Greater Fort Erie executive director Carol Stewart-Kirkby. “We are excited to extend this research into Niagara so that we can gather the data to clearly demonstrate the status of precarious work here, how it impacts our community and find solutions,” she added.

A number of local organizations are involved with this collaborative grant. The Social Justice Research Institute at Brock will be leading the research work, relying on the expertise of Johan Butovsky, Jeff Boggs, June Corman and Rachel Hirsch. Also joining the United Way and Brock University on the grant are: Bridges Community Health Centre, Niagara Workforce Planning Board and Niagara Economic Development.

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations. With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.