Education and Business Leaders Gather to Address the Challenges of
Post-Secondary Access

TORONTO, Oct. 28 /CNW/ - Following the three-day inaugural conference of the Canadian Post-Secondary Access Partnership (CPSAP), Prepared Minds, Prepared Places, 11 multidisciplinary teams from across Canada underscored the need to mobilize community partnerships as the key to broadening post-secondary participation.

Canada needs a highly skilled and educated workforce to remain competitive and sustain its prosperity. In order to help achieve that, the CPSAP was established to build connections among stay-in-school programs, post-secondary access programs, corporate diversity programs, community-based outreach, adult education, newcomer and employment programs.

Acting in partnership with the CPSAP, community organizations such as the YMCA are bridging the gap between individual and institutional, school and campus, campus and workforce. Launched last year, the CPSAP partnership, led by the YMCA is designed to create a network of schools, institutions, employers and community organizations to encourage students from under-represented groups to pursue post-secondary education. The YMCA's You Can Go program offers workshops, one-on-one advising, and campus tours to youth, adults and parents.

"According to Statistics Canada four out of ten young Canadians do not finish high school and do not pursue post-secondary education or drop out of university or college," said Scott Haldane, President and CEO of YMCA of Greater Toronto. "This poses a significant challenge when more than two-thirds of all jobs now require post-secondary education. That's why we're so proud of the work we have done to help Canadians from all backgrounds overcome the obstacles that stand between them and post-secondary education," added Haldane.

The conference also marked the announcement of the YMCA-led Everyone Can Go Founding Council. Ernst & Young, a member of the Founder's Council, the CPSAP's Founding Corporate Sponsor and the National Volunteer Partner of the You Can Go program, has demonstrated their commitment to this initiative with more than 150 Ernst & Young employees trained as You Can Go program volunteers to date.

"Ernst & Young believes that if more of us devote our time, energy and resources to a focus on education and mentoring, especially for those who don't traditionally complete higher education - we'll not only help build healthier, better educated and stronger communities, we'll help build the workforce we need," said Lou Pagnutti, Chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young.

The YMCA's You Can Go program has served over 9,000 students at 16 sites across the country to date.

SOURCE YMCA of Greater Toronto

For further information: For further information: Celecia Partap, YMCA of Greater Toronto, (416) 928-3362 X2350

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