The business community heads to the classroom with great success

    MONTREAL, May 5 /CNW Telbec/ - The Board of Trade of Metropolitan
Montreal has made a positive assessment of the 13th edition of Operation Back
to School. Since March 30, over 250 business people who are deeply committed
to the development of the next generation have visited close to 9,000
Secondary 3, 4, and 5 students. This annual activity aims to encourage young
people to stay in school by having them meet with a variety of inspiring role
models. Members of the Board of Trade and several partners have each, in their
own way, imparted their understanding of the realities of the job market,
their successes, and the challenges they have had to overcome.
    "The conclusions of Jacques Ménard's task force are of great concern to
us. It is unacceptable for Quebec to rank 9th out of 10 Canadian provinces
when it comes to obtaining a high school diploma. Each year, the dropout rate
deprives Quebec of 28,000 skilled workers. This situation is all the more
deplorable in that we are already experiencing a lack of qualified workers in
many key sectors of our economy. Business people are truly concerned about
this situation, and that is why they have taken up the challenge launched by
the Board of Trade for 13 years now," explained the President and CEO of the
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc.
    "We have received many comments from business people and teachers who
appreciate these interactive sessions. These enriching and motivating
exchanges provide young people with new tools to help them make career
choices. They also allow business people to get a better understanding of
youth and their reality. For my part, I was greatly impressed by the students'
dynamism and curiosity towards the choices they are offered," added Michel
    "Through these meetings, young people come to understand that success
requires work, perseverance, and determination. Another goal of Operation Back
to School is to tell young people to move forward by exploring their passions,
and that it is normal to be faced with certain obstacles, just as business
leaders are," concluded Michel Leblanc.
    Operation Back to School is made possible through a contribution from MR3
Montréal Relève. The Board of Trade also thanks Montréal Chartered Accountants
for offering a study grant to one of the students visited as part of this
    Operation Back to School on the Web

    The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its
primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of
Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and local businesses
of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their
full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The
Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization.

For further information:

For further information: Sylvie Paquette, Coordinator, Media relations,
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015,

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