Free YMCA program offers Ontarians accredited cyber security diploma in 12 weeks

April 22, 2022

The YMCA of Greater Toronto teams up with training partner Lighthouse Labs to offer 100 Ontarians a fully-funded cyber security program

Toronto – The YMCA of Greater Toronto is excited to announce a fully-funded 12-week Cyber Security Alliance Ontario program to 100 eligible Ontarians this summer. Funded in part by the Government of Canada and the Government of Ontario, the YMCA-hosted virtual program is designed to improve the lives of Ontarians who are unemployed or underemployed, through accredited cyber security training and specialized 1:1 career support. The focus is to support individuals who self-identify as racialized. Cyber security is a growing industry in Ontario, and over 100,000 cyber professionals are currently employed in Canada. According to the Government of Canada, following the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada and Canadians have experienced an increase in cyber threats and ransomware attacks, and there is an urgent need for cyber talent in all sectors.

Hosted by the YMCA of Greater Toronto and Lighthouse Labs, this virtual 12-week cyber security bootcamp aims to bridge the gap between the ever-growing demand for cyber security and the skill-based barriers faced by participants who self-identify as racialized and are currently unemployed or underemployed Ontarians. Participants will be trained to work in the cyber security field in a variety of roles including Cyber Security Specialist/Technician, Cyber Security Incident Analyst/Responder, Cyber Security Analyst and more.

“At the YMCA, we believe in giving everyone a chance to shine and showcase their greatest potential in the community,” said Darlene Holowachuk, Senior Vice President, Operations – Employment & Community, YMCA of Greater Toronto. “This new program is one way that we are supporting career development and financial well-being while also addressing inequities in our community.”

The virtual Cyber Security Training will provide participants across Ontario with free, online:

• Digital & technical skills training (value estimated at $14,000)

• Essential skills training

• Pre-employment training

• Employer networking

• Professional mentorship

• Career advancement skills

• Access to a social worker and mental health support throughout the program

“The future of work is here, and we need to make sure young people have the digital skills they need to succeed,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to support this free, innovative YMCA program, which will prepare 100 jobseekers for meaningful careers in cyber security.”

Program costs will be covered for successful applicants and, to reduce technological barriers for virtual programs, laptop loaners will be provided if necessary.

To learn more about the program or join an orientation session, visit Orientation sessions are held every Tuesday at 6 pm. EDT and Thursday at 3:30 pm. EDT until May 31. Spaces are limited so people are encouraged to register early.

About the YMCA of Greater Toronto

The YMCA of Greater Toronto is a charity that ignites the potential in people, helping them grow, lead and give back to their communities. For over 170 years, the YMCA of Greater Toronto has provided opportunities for people to shine through a variety of programs and services including health and fitness, licensed child care, camps, employment and immigrant services, education and training, and services for youth, families and seniors. Promoting equity and boosting well-being across more than 400 locations in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), we are a leading charity that helps everyone shine, including our most vulnerable community members. To join our team, visit