Skills Canada - Ontario Announces Partnership with Lowe's Canada

    Home Improvement Retailer's $200,000 Grant to Help Build a Strong
    Workforce in Ontario

    WATERLOO, ON, May 4 /CNW/ - Earlier today at the Ontario Technological
Skills Competition, Skills Canada - Ontario announced a significant new
partnership with home improvement retailer Lowe's Canada.
    The $200,000 grant from the Lowe's Charitable and Education Foundation is
the largest corporate contribution ever received by Skills Canada - Ontario.
In addition to Skills Canada - Ontario and Lowe's representatives, The Hon.
Minister Milloy and The Hon. Minister Wynne participated in the announcement
ceremony. The Lowe's grant will support community service projects,
instructional program enhancements, as well as the Ontario Technological
Skills Competition which is a key annual event to encourage skills education
with youth.
    "It's a natural fit to have Lowe's Canada as a partner. Lowe's has an
interest in the skills industry and is committed to supporting the work we do.
This grant will help us further our mission to build a strong skilled trades
workforce for the future," said Gail Smyth, Executive Director, Skills Canada
- Ontario.
    As the skilled trade shortage continues to grow, there is a gap between
the workers needed and those who have the necessary skills. Through its
community programs and the Ontario Technological Skills Competition, Skills
Canada - Ontario enables students to put their education to use and gain
valuable skills that will lead to immeasurable career opportunities in the
skilled trades in the future. Since 1989, Skills Canada - Ontario has been
promoting skilled trades and technologies as viable first choice career
options for Ontario's youth through a variety of initiatives, including an
in-school presentation to educate students on the hundreds of career
opportunities available in skilled trades and technologies. Updated annually
and the largest outreach program in the Skills Canada - Ontario line up, the
presentation reached over 112,000 senior elementary and secondary students
last year and is available in both official languages. With satellite offices
in Kitchener, Toronto, Peterborough, Sudbury, Ottawa and Thunder Bay, Liaison
officers crisscross the province with the aim of getting students informed and
excited about career exploration.
    "On the same day that we open our 12th store in Canada, we are proud to
announce our support of Skills Canada - Ontario and celebrate the tremendous
skills and talent of Ontario's youth," said Don Stallings, President, Lowe's
Canada. "Lowe's is committed to supporting community projects that are
important to our customers and employees, and we look forward to watching
these young men and women contribute to their own communities, as well."
    As part of its commitment to supporting Ontario's skilled trades, the
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities will match all donations made
to Skills Canada - Ontario up to $400,000. Between the Lowe's grant and other
sponsors, Skills Canada - Ontario has raised more than $400,000 this year and
therefore will be receiving over $800,000 in funding this year.
    Lowe's Canada is proud to work with Skills Canada - Ontario to prepare
Ontario's future skilled work force and to help youth excel in their chosen
career paths.


    Skills Canada - Ontario is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to
supporting the development of youth and the prosperity of industry in Ontario.
We strive to promote the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first
choice career options for young people.


    With fiscal year 2008 sales of $48.2 billion, Lowe's Companies, Inc. is a
FORTUNE(R) 50 company that serves approximately 14 million customers a week.
Lowe's operates more than 1,650 home improvement stores in the United States
and Canada. Founded in 1946 and based in Mooresville, N.C., Lowe's is the
second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. For more information,

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Hartlen, Skills Canada, (519) 749-9899
ext 231,; Abby Buford, Lowe's Companies, Inc.,
(704) 758-3497,

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Lowe's Companies, Inc.

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