A graduate of Queen’s University, Michael began employment counselling in 1978. In 1983, Michael became the founding Director of Kingston Employment and Youth Services (KEYS) and has worked in this capacity for over 30 years. In that period of time the agency has grown from a staff of three (3) focusing on employment services for disadvantaged youth, to a staff of more than sixty (60) providing wide range of employment and language training services for the entire community.
Committed to compassionate action, Michael has worked closely with many other community-based organizations during his time at KEYS. He served as the First President of the Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres (OAYEC). He has also been the President of the Kingston and Area Social Planning Council; President of the Industry Education Council Algonquin & Limestone; and President of the Ontario Network of Employment Skill Training Programs (ONESTEP). At present Michael is President of First Work, a Toronto based provincial organization; the Chair of Kingston Immigrant Partnership; a Board Member with Ontario Business Education Partnership (OBEP); and has just completed a six (6) year term as President of Kingston Community Heath Centres.
What others have said:
There are few people we come across who have touched as many lives as Michael has. His gentle strength and introspective ways make him a true leader whether it is as a parent or community member. His sense of connectedness with the world has led him to many corners of the globe and into the hearts of countless individuals. Michael’s path is as colourful, lush and earthy as his incredible garden.
Insightful, thoughtful, compassionate are just three words that come to mind when thinking of Michael Harris. Michael is a recognized leader in the Kingston community.
Michael’s kindness and compassion are evident in his actions as a leader and administrator for KEYS. I am always proud to report that a person of his integrity is the leader of the organization I work for.
Michael Harris is a dynamic leader, inspirational mentor and innovator in the field of employment services. His passion, vision and commitment to his work has resulted in variety of positives outcomes for the region that he serves.