McGuinty Government Helps Students Return To School And Graduate

    Continues to Create More Opportunities for Youth to Succeed

    WINDSOR, ON, June 21 /CNW/ - The Ontario government congratulates
55 students who are graduating from the Ontario Public Service (OPS) Learn and
Work Program, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Sandra Pupatello and
Energy Minister Dwight Duncan announced today on behalf of Government Services
Minister Gerry Phillips.
    "This is a positive, innovative approach to helping these young people
stay in school, complete their education and gain real-life work experience,"
said Pupatello. "I'm proud of the program's growth, we want to give more
students the chance to succeed and I look forward to many more successful
years to come."
    The OPS Learn and Work Program is designed for youth between the ages of
16 and 19 from priority communities. The program was piloted in February 2006,
and has grown from a one-semester program helping 20 students, to a one-year
program helping students in four locations across the province. Upon
completion of the program, participants will have had the opportunity to earn
academic credits toward their high school diploma and obtain up to 27 weeks of
meaningful work experience, consisting of one co-op placement per semester in
the Ontario Public Service and its Agencies.
    "This is another example of how our government is transforming the high
school experience to reach every student," said Duncan. "Over the past two
years, 12,000 more high school students graduated because they were able to
customize their education with more relevant learning opportunities that match
their skills, goals and interests."

    The current program is being delivered at:
    -   J.L. Forster Secondary School in Windsor

    The ministers attended a student success forum with students from the
participating Windsor-area schools today. The forum was held at New
Beginnings, a current student placement agency.
    The OPS Learn and Work Program is part of the $28.5-million Youth
Opportunities Strategy, a broad plan to help young people faced with
significant challenges achieve individual success and promote stronger and
safer communities.

    This is one of the many steps the McGuinty government has taken to support
students and young people in this province. Other initiatives include:

    -   A $1.3 billion Student Success Strategy that is providing more
        students with new programs and to help them customize their education
        to match their own skills and interests

    -   Creating 1,000 skilled trades training spaces

    -   Bringing back grants for students who need help the most: 60,000
        students will get grants this coming year

    -   Doubling student aid so families can afford higher education

    -   Introducing an anti-bullying strategy and school safety audits

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Paul de Zara, Minister's Office, (416)
327-3072; Ciaran Ganley, Communications Branch, (416) 325-8659

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