Kingston Home Builders' Association receives A 2010 Employer Champion Award

Local construction company recognized for outstanding development of school-work programs

KINGSTON, ON, March 3 /CNW/ - Kingston Home Builders' Association (KHBA) today received a 2010 Passport to Prosperity Employer Champion Award in recognition of its outstanding commitment to providing meaningful experiential learning programs for high school students in the community.

"By providing valuable workplace experiences to high school students, these employer champions are helping young Ontarians make some of the most important decisions in life, including setting career goals and choosing what type of postsecondary education and training to pursue," said Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education. "School-work partnerships are critical to boosting student achievement and helping more students graduate."

"I applaud the work of the Kingston Home Builders' Association for giving young people an important insight into the skills and experience essential to finding work in today's economy," said John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. "Helping students learn about careers, and the education and training necessary for success, will help build the skilled workforce Ontario needs."

KHBA has been a community partner with the Limestone District School Board (LDSB) construction programs for more than 20 years. Through its member companies, KHBA has placed hundreds of LDSB co-operative education students in the skilled trades where they have gained many essential skills and work habits through experiential learning activities. Over the past five years, KHBA's member companies have partnered with the Building Construction Internship Program to complete nine homes through a combination of student experiences and co-op placements.

"At Kingston Home Builders' Association, we are committed to innovative, professional, safe, and environmentally responsible building practices. We are also dedicated to educating future leaders in our industry," said Gord McCrady, president, Kingston Home Builders' Association. "The students who participate in our co-op programs help us deliver on this commitment by being introduced to the trades as a viable and rewarding career choice. We are extremely proud of the students who have chosen to work with our members and give us their enthusiasm, time and dedication."

The Employer Champion Award program was established by the Provincial Partnership Council (PPC) to recognize employers in communities across Ontario who demonstrate outstanding dedication and commitment in providing meaningful work experiences to local high school students. The Passport to Prosperity campaign, led by the PPC, encourages Ontario employers to provide experiential learning opportunities for high school students.

"Kingston Home Builders' Association is an example of a forward-thinking leader that recognizes the value of experiential learning as an effective way to recruit, train and retain young workers," said Jon Hamovitch, chair of the PPC. "We applaud the dedication of its staff in helping local students develop practical work and leadership skills through dynamic assignments that best suit their educational backgrounds and learning styles."

Today more than 40,000 employers have recognized the value of opening their doors to high school students, but more are needed. Without the commitment and dedication of employers, including the Employer Champion Award winners, high school students would have limited opportunities to explore their career options and gain valuable training as they prepare for the working world.

About Passport to Prosperity

Passport to Prosperity is a provincewide initiative led by the Provincial Partnership Council (PPC) that encourages and supports Ontario employers in providing high school students with experiential learning opportunities. The PPC works closely with the Ontario Ministry of Education; the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; and the Ontario Business Education Partnership, representing business-education councils and local training boards across the province.

About the Kingston Home Builders' Association

The Kingston Home Builders' Association represents approximately 170 member companies of the residential home building industry within the Greater Kingston Area. Its members are "Building a Better Kingston" by promoting innovative, professional, safe, and environmentally responsible building practices. The Kingston Home Builders Association strives to satisfy an essential human need by constructing affordable quality housing, provide a forum to develop membership consensus, and serve as a proactive voice for our industry's concerns.

To learn more about Passport to Prosperity, please visit www.EmployerRegistry.ca.

SOURCE PASSPORT TO PROSPERITY

For further information: For further information: Cathy Kurzbock, Hill & Knowlton, cathy.kurzbock@hillandknowlton.ca, Phone: (416) 413-4755

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