The Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

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Business people meet with high school students: Operation Back to School is off and running!


Press release

Business people meet with high school students:
Operation Back to School is off and running!

Montréal, February 17, 2012 – During Hooked on School Days, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased to launch the 2012 edition of Operation Back to School (OBS), which will take place from March 1st to April 30. This sixteenth edition will see business people give close to 400 testimonial-talks to Secondary 3, 4, and 5 students. Some 12,000 students will therefore be taking part in these meetings.

“Quebec’s success and that of its major city are inextricably linked to the quality of our workforce and our collective ability to encourage students to get their diplomas. It is with this challenge in mind that the Board of Trade implements its Operation Back to School program year after year. Education has been one of our organization’s key priorities since its very beginning, 190 years ago. Our predecessor’s initiatives, like more recent efforts—such as OBS or the Student Business program, to which the Board of Trade contributes—bear witness to the importance that we place on training our youth,” stated Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“In Operation Back to School, business people describe their professional career path, the challenges they had to overcome, and the work required to do so. The students they meet are given a chance to ask questions and get informed about the various avenues open to them on the job market, while also allaying their fears and sharing their points of view. Both the professionals and the students taking part in the program emerge with a better understanding of each other’s reality. Also, since last year, with the help of our partners, we have been awarding over $15,000 in stay-in-school scholarships to students that have heard a speaker’s testimonial and have been nominated by their teachers,” continued Michel Leblanc.

“The business community has been getting actively involved to ensure the future of our next generation. Several community members are in fact contributing to the discussion on student retention. The matching event we have held for the past two years in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan as part of Hooked on School Days, the high rate of participation in the ensuing business luncheon, and the growing number of speakers joining Operation Back to School show the importance that the business milieu is placing on this issue,” concluded Michel Leblanc.

Business people are invited to take part in great numbers in Operation Back to School, and thereby actively contribute to promoting student retention. Complete details are available at the following URL:

Operation Back to School is made possible through the support of MR3 Montréal Relève, as well as through the participation of GOLD Ambassadors: ArcelorMittal, Ernst & Young, and Vidéotron; and SILVER Ambassadors: the Ordre des comptables agréés du Québec, L’Oréal Canada, Pratt & Whitney Canada, and Ubisoft. The Board of Trade also thanks its associative partners: Youth Fusion, Montreal Hooked on School, and Universitas Trust Funds.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is made up of some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local 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.


Sylvie Paquette
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Phone: 514 871-4000, extension 4015
Twitter: @chambremontreal
To continue the discusion: #ccmmqcca

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Phone: 514 871-4000, ext. 4047

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