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514 871-4000


15th anniversary of Operation Back to School: over 300 meetings to help encourage student retention

Press Release

15th anniversary of Operation Back to School:
over 300 meetings to help encourage student retention

Montréal, March 1st, 2011 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased to kick off the 15th edition of Operation Back to School, which will take place from March 1st to April 30, 2011. Over 300 meetings are planned between groups of grade 9, 10, and 11 students and business people from all sectors of activity.

“Student retention is a hot topic in Quebec. The business community is in fact quite taken with the cause, as can be seen from the number of registrations in the Operation Back to School program year after year,” stated Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade.

“The main goal of the meetings that take place as part of Operation Back to School is to encourage young people to continue their studies and make their dreams come true. The meetings allow them to understand that success requires work, perseverance, and determination. But the program also makes business people aware of the difficulties young people experience, and of the realities and challenges they must face. Both speakers and students come away from the meetings having learned positive lessons,” added Mr. Leblanc.

A survey carried out last October by Léger Marketing for the Board of Trade showed that, for business people, student retention is the most important education issue affecting Quebec’s economic development.

“A few days ago, when she spoke at the Board of Trade as part of Hooked on School Days, Ms. Line Beauchamp, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, highlighted the importance of student retention initiatives such as Operation Back to School. I am delighted to see that the business community has enthusiastically rallied around this cause and is actively contributing to ensuring the continuity of our businesses and the province’s future prosperity. I would also like to thank Sylvain Vincent, Managing Partner, Eastern Canada at Ernst & Young and Chairman of the Board at the Board of Trade, for his patronage of this 15th edition of Operation Back to School,” concluded Michel Leblanc.

Operation Back to School is made possible through the financial support of MR3 Montréal Relève, as well as the participation of Back to School ambassadors that offer stay-in-school bursaries to certain participating students: Arcelor Mittal, BMO Bank of Montreal, Montréal Chartered Accountants, Ernst & Young, FCT Title Insurance, Pratt & Whitney, and Qualité Habitation. The Board of Trade also thanks its partner associations, Youth Fusion and Montreal Hooked on School.

Teachers and business people can register for Operation Back to School by going to

Businesses wishing to become Back to School ambassadors and to offer stay-in-school bursaries may contact Ms. Sévrine Labelle at 514 871-4000, extension 4021.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.

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Geneviève Jutras
Advisor, Communications
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4042

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