"Green" expectations high for construction and engineering grads and employers

    Survey highlights growing demand for greener approach to work, at George
    Brown College event

    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - According to a George Brown College survey
released today at the 7th annual Technology in the City, four in five
employers in the construction and engineering sectors put priority on
recruiting staff with training and knowledge in environmentally sound
practices, while nine in 10 students feel a company's environmental practices
and policies will play a significant role in their decision to work for them.
    The survey, conducted with nearly 100 high school and college students
and almost 200 industry representatives, also reveals many employers believe
that their current workforce lacks the skills and knowledge to properly
address and implement government and public demands for increased
environmental responsibility. In addition, nearly a third identify the need to
find qualified workers as the single greatest challenge they face in the next
five to 10 years - more than a slowing economy, rising cost of materials,
increased competition and changing government regulations.
    "Ontario's construction and engineering industries are changing, with
employers and graduates citing the environment as a growing priority," said
Nancy Sherman, Dean, Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies
(CCET), George Brown College. "It is clear these sectors offer young Canadians
a rare opportunity to join a growing and attractive workforce - one with high
demand for jobs that gives environmentally conscious youth a way to affect
positive environmental change instead of just being advocates for change."

    Other highlights of the survey demonstrate the environment's impact on
education and industry:

    -   95 per cent of students say it is important for college or university
        curriculums to teach practices that are environmentally sound
    -   94 per cent of industry respondents agreed that environmental
        responsibility plays a role in their business decisions, with 28 per
        cent strongly agreeing
    -   82 per cent of industry respondents say that finding applicants with
        training and knowledge in environmentally sound practices is
        important to their recruitment decision-making process

    Technology in the City is an annual event that engages youth and
introduces them to the breadth of potential career options in the construction
and engineering technologies sectors, including skilled trades. It highlights
the important role that these sectors, and their workers, will play on the
overall sustainability of our economy, society and the environment.
    "We are trying to respond to the increasing number of jobs in the
construction and engineering sectors. We want to get students, parents and
teachers excited about these growing career areas." added Sherman.
    This year's 'green' theme is supported by the mandate of the CCET at
George Brown College - to integrate an environmental perspective into its
curriculum to better prepare graduates with the skills and knowledge sought by
    The event featured a keynote address from renowned environmental educator
Lisa Glithero, speaking to students about technology and the skilled
professional's contribution to a more sustainable future. According to
Glithero, colleges like George Brown are well positioned to face the
challenges of preparing students with environmental related skills because
they offer an intimate, hands-on, participatory-based approach to learning,
allowing for a more direct and immediate real-world application of students'
    The event also featured a display of George Brown student inventions, as
well as competitions for high school students to win a year's tuition at the
College's Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies. Among the
green-focused inventions were an electric Vespa, a portable wind turbine and a
solar tracker.

    About George Brown College (GBC)

    Established in 1967, GBC's three campuses are located in downtown
Toronto, the most multicultural city in the world. With more than 14,000
full-time students, including 1,400 international students, GBC is one of
Ontario's fastest growing colleges. GBC offers more than 150 programs ranging
from one-year certificates to four-year bachelor's degrees. In addition, over
50,000 continuing education students are enrolled in more than 1,300 courses.

For further information:

For further information: or digital photos of today's activities, please
contact: Alison Crocker, Patrick Erlich, Media Profile, Office: (416)
342-1802, Cell: (416) 898-2725, (416) 318-3821, crocker@mediaprofile.com,

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