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Press release: The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal launches the 10th edition of Operation Back to School

Press release

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
launches the 10th edition of Operation Back to School

Montreal, March 22, 2006 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal will carry out the tenth edition of Operation Back to School from March 27 to April 28, 2006. Deeply concerned by the number of high school drop-outs, the Board of Trade aims to make students aware of the importance of completing their education and earning their diploma.

The testimonial-meetings with business people – which take place during class periods – provide young people with accurate information about the labour market, their employment prospects, and the core competencies they will need to find jobs. These discussions centre on the educational, professional, and personal backgrounds of the business people and are extremely enriching for both the young people and the speakers.

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of this program, the Board of Trade has chosen spokespersons whose career paths are particularly inspiring to young people: Joachim Alcine, professional boxer, Jici Lauzon, actor-columnist; and Malik Shaheed, VJ (video jockey), host, producer, entrepreneur, and journalist at MusiquePlus.*

“By teaming up with these spokespersons, the Board of Trade aims to highlight the importance of education and the determination to make one's dreams come true, no matter what the chosen career path. Whatever sector they choose to work in, success and the ability to achieve their goals will depend on making the necessary effort and acquiring the right skills. Our spokespersons and the business people participating in this operation will all carry the same message:  it is in high school that young people begin to nurture and carry out their dreams,” declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade.

Once again this year, the Board of Trade hopes that these testimonial meetings will enable business people to meet with some 10,000 Secondary 3, 4, and 5 students in public and private schools in Greater Montreal's French- and English-speaking networks. During these meetings, the business people will share with these young people both their successes and the challenges they have faced. Since the operation was launched in 1997, almost 80,000 students have benefited from the experience and inspiring advice of these speakers, no doubt enabling them to make more informed choices leading to promising and stimulating careers.

“The Board of Trade firmly believes in the value of this initiative. On the one hand, the needs for a skilled labour force that we foresee mean that the importance of encouraging students to stay in school is greater than ever. On the other hand, it is clear that the best way to encourage young people to stay in school is to present them with a living, accessible portrait of the labour market. All those who take the time to meet with students will not only provide them with practical information but also share the passion that drives them in their career. In fact, it is precisely this human dimension of each of these meetings that makes Operation Back to School so effective,” affirmed Marie-Claude Lalande, chairman of the Board of Trade and patron of this tenth edition.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal to a CSDM school,” said Diane De Courcy, president of the CSDM. “The Operation Back to School is ideally aligned to the effort we have long made to fight the dropout rate. This initiative is also in keeping with our desire to develop solid relationships with Montreal community partners.”

Operation Back to School is made possible thanks to the contributions of the Fonds Ville-Marie and Emploi-Québec. The Board of Trade would also like to thank the Comptables agréés de Montréal for awarding a scholarship for the vocational or post-secondary studies of one student.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal 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 the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.


Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015

* Photos of the operation's spokespersons may be viewed at the following addresses:


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