Montréal, February 16, 2015 – Alongside Hooked on School Days taking place from February 16 to 20, today the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is launching Operation Back to School 2015. For the 19th edition, running until May 1, 350 testimonial presentations will be given by business people in high schools within French and English school boards to raise awareness among young people about the importance of staying in school.
Operation Back to School is a concrete effort by the Board of Trade to encourage students to stay in school and to make the business community aware of the importance of getting involved in education.
“By 2017, there will be approximately 150,000 positions vacant in the metropolitan area,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “Supporting young people as they strive to succeed in school is one important way to help our city tackle this major challenge. In recent years, we have seen an encouraging recognition within society about the importance of young people graduating. Concerted efforts by schools, communities, governments and the private sector have produced concrete results. In fact, the drop-out rate has declined 5.1% in three years.”
“Plenty of young people abandon their education too early,” Michel Leblanc said. “So it’s time to step up our efforts to help young people succeed in school. By doing something concrete now, we are helping younger generations gain confidence and be ready to fill the thousands of jobs that will be available in the coming years.”
“Part of the solution to early school leaving lies in valuing trades,” Michel Leblanc said. “We need to remember that many interesting trades require only a few years of technical training and offer exciting challenges. These are stable, well-paid trades that are very much in demand.”
During the past 18 editions of Operation Back to School, over 4,000 business men and women have shared their experience with close to 150,000 high school students. Experience shows that these pleasant encounters stimulate the determination and ambition of young people, making them motivated and ready to make the effort necessary to pursue their professional goals.
These meetings also create closer ties between schools and companies by providing young people and teachers better information about the job market and business people an understanding of the reality of younger generations.
At the end of the program, participating teachers can recommend a student in their group who has distinguished himself or herself in terms of commitment and effort. Thanks to Operation Back to School ambassadors, over $15,000 in scholarships will be awarded to students, who are selected by random draw. The scholarships are deposited in a registered education savings plan (RESP) to allow recipients to pursue their professional, technical or university studies.
For information about Operation Back to School and how to participate, consult www.ccmm.qc.ca/back-to-school.
Operation Back to School is made possible through the support of Montréal Relève and the participation of its GOLD ambassadors, that offer stay-in-school scholarships to participating students: ArcelorMittal and McCarthy Tétrault, and its SILVER ambassadors: Montreal CPA Group, Crochetière, Pétrin, EY and Ubisoft Montreal. The Board of Trade also thanks its association partners: Academos, Youth Fusion, Montreal Hooked on School and Universitas.
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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For registration or information:
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4099