Press release Operation Back to school
The brainpower offensive has been launched: More than 400 business men and women prepare to invade schools
Montreal, March 25, 2002 - Today, at École secondaire Joseph-François-Perreault, the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal launched Operation Back to School. This annual event is the backbone of a program aiming to encourage young people to stay in school by educating them about the realities of the labour market.
More than 400 business men and women from some 200 companies are preparing for what might be called the brainpower offensive, putting them in touch with 12,000 students from some sixty Montreal schools throughout the month of April. Small groups of Secondary III, IV, and V students will be invited to dialogue with business entrepreneurs who will answer any questions they may have.
Aware of the critical importance to the economic development of Montreal of stimulating a desire in young people to pursue their studies and earn their diploma, business people have turned out in droves to support this initiative. Launched in 1997, it has grown steadily for the past several years. The Back to School project is the concrete expression of a strong faith in our young people, whom the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal considers to be essential partners in the economic future of Greater Montreal. This initiative is made possible thanks to financing from Fonds Ville-Marie.
At the press conference launching Operation Back to School, Mr. Guy Fréchette, president of the Board of Trade, stressed that the economic growth of Greater Montreal will depend on the concerted efforts of stakeholders in the public and private sectors, in particular to ensure the production, attraction, and retention of a constantly growing number of skilled workers. In fact, the international development of the new city will require a large reserve of young creative talents and an available pool of qualified workers, and this must be a priority. From this point of view the large number of high school drop-outs is a disaster in the making that Montreal business people, through Operation Back to School, are attempting to avert.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the media and influence towards government and decision-makers.