MIRABEL, QC, April 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, today reaffirmed its commitment to encouraging students in school, unveiling a series of scientific presentations entitled "The sky is the limit!" The presentations are aimed at demystifying the aerospace industry and promoting rewarding careers in the sector to Grade 5 and 6 students attending schools in the Laurentians.
"To encourage young people to build their dreams and nurture their professional aspirations, the aerospace sector has decided to get involved at the elementary school level. Through a fun guided educational activity, the initiative helps make students aware of careers in science and technology, introducing them to experts who work with aerospace companies and who are true role models for the younger generation," said Suzanne M. Benoît, president of Aéro Montréal.
"Many new qualified workers will be needed over the next few years to meet industry needs. If we want the Greater Montreal region to remain at the forefront of the global aerospace sector, we need to lay the groundwork now by sparking and maintaining interest among a new generation of skilled workers. This initiative is highly stimulating and promising, and Pratt & Whitney Canada is proud to be associated with it," added Kevin Smith, vice president, human resources, at Pratt & Whitney Canada.
This innovative initiative was launched in association with the Conseil du Loisir Scientifique de la région Métropolitaine (CLSM) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Foundation Canada, with financial support from the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal, the CRÉ Laurentides, the Ville de Mirabel, and the CLD of Mirabel and from the participation of Pratt & Whitney Canada, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada, Bombardier Aerospace, L-3 MAS, Messier-Bugatti-Dowty Canada and Sonaca Montréal. It gives young people a chance to put themselves in the shoes of an aerospace engineer through interactive activities in the classroom.
Working in teams, these budding engineers compete to build airplanes, in accordance with the laws of physics that apply to such concepts as aerodynamics, inherent in the construction of an aircraft. Technicians and engineers from companies with operations in the Laurentians region also participate in the classroom activities and share their career experiences with the students.
This tour of scientific presentations began as a pilot project in 2010 in the Longueuil region, where hundreds of elementary school students were introduced to the aerospace sector. In the Laurentians, nearly 50 elementary schools, in Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Brownsburg-Chatham, Deux-Montagnes, Lorraine, Mirabel, Rosemere, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Jérome, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Thérèse and Terrebonne, from a variety of socioeconomic backgrounds, have participated in the program. At the end of this pilot project, nearly 4,500 Grade 5 and 6 students in the Laurentians will have taken part in the interactive scientific sessions.
"The Ville de Mirabel and the Centre local de développement (CLD) de Mirabel are pleased to contribute to the success of 'The sky is the limit!'" This original and stimulating project makes an effective, concrete contribution to stemming the dropout rate by opening new career horizons to students," explained Hubert Meilleur, mayor of Mirabel.
"I'm pleased that this exciting initiative is coming to our region, under the auspices of Aéro Montréal. I'm convinced it will contribute to reducing the dropout rate, which has disastrous consequences for our youth," remarked Denise Beaudoin, MNA for Mirabel.
"'The sky is the limit!' is a remarkable initiative for several reasons," concluded Mylène Freeman, MP for Argenteuil-Papineau-Mirabel. "It puts a sparkle in students' eyes, it creates enthusiasm. It is the best remedy for encouraging students to stay in school. It is also a great example of a long-term corporate project in the region. There is nothing more sustainable than inspiring students as early as the elementary level," she added.
The initiative is a project of Aéro Montréal's Human Resources Working Group, whose members are company leaders, HR policy-makers and school principals. The group is responsible for planning, coordinating and implementing a concerted action plan to address the major issues of aerospace succession and human resources and, ultimately, making the industry more competitive. Through "The sky is the limit!" the group seeks to consolidate the support of the aerospace cluster's industry members for encouraging students to stay in school and succeed academically.
About Aéro Montréal
Aéro Montréal, Québec's aerospace cluster, is a strategic think tank that groups all the major decision makers in Québec's aerospace sector, including companies, educational and research institutions, associations and unions.
Aéro Montréal's mission is to mobilize industry players around common goals and concerted actions to increase the cohesion and optimize competitiveness of Québec's aerospace cluster. It aims to foster the growth and expansion of the cluster so as to ensure that it may continue to create wealth for Montréal, Québec and Canada. To find out more about Aéro Montréal, visit www.aeromontreal.ca.
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