Union Gas encourages aboriginal youth to pursue skilled trades

$20,000 to support "Skills Work!® For Aboriginal Youth" program

WATERLOO, ON, May 6, 2014 /CNW/ - Union Gas is continuing to fund a program that encourages thousands of Aboriginal youth to pursue career opportunities in the skilled trades and technology sectors, through a $20,000 grant awarded today to Skills Canada - Ontario.

During a time when there is a shortage of skilled workers to meet growing demand across many industry sectors, the in-school program encourages thousands of Aboriginal youth to pursue career opportunities in the skilled trades and technology sectors. The initiatives include such things as summer camps for Grade 7 and Grade 8 students, hands-on workshops and the Ontario Technological Skills Competition. The grant helps support three Aboriginal liaison officers, one in London, Thunder Bay and Sault Ste. Marie, who travel across the province to promote careers in skilled trades and in technologies.

Mike Shannon, vice president of distribution operations for Union Gas, presented the cheque to Gail Smyth, executive director of Skills Canada - Ontario, today at the executive breakfast of the Ontario Technological Skills Competition in Kitchener-Waterloo.

"We need to continue to work hard to get the message out to our next generation that skilled trades and technology is the place to be … there are challenging, exciting, well-paying careers out there right across the country," said Shannon. "At Union Gas, we're honoured to be again partnered with Skills Canada - Ontario, an organization that we've been involved with for over a decade."

Skills Canada - Ontario, which facilitates the Ontario Technological Skills Competition, is a not‐for‐profit organization with a mandate to promote careers in the skilled trades and in technologies as viable, first‐choice career options for young people in Ontario.

"The financial and ongoing community support we receive from Union Gas provides us with the necessary resources to further impact the career choices of young people in Ontario," said Smyth.  "We are encouraged to see the interest being expressed by Aboriginal communities from across the province.  On behalf of the thousands of students we meet each year, I want to thank everyone at Union Gas for their contributions to our mandate."

With our deep roots in Ontario, Union Gas has built a foundation of strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with First Nations and Métis peoples in the communities and regions where we operate. This is central to providing certainty to our business and supports the vision, purpose and values of the company's Charter. For more information visit uniongas.com/community/aboriginal.

"Our continued support for Skills Work!® For Aboriginal Youth is one way we're acting on our commitment  to build long-term, productive relationships with Aboriginal communities based on mutual respect and economic opportunity," added Shannon.

About Skills Canada - Ontario
Skills Canada - Ontario is a not-for-profit organization that promotes careers in the skilled trades and technologies to young people in Ontario through a variety of competitions, programs and events. For more information, visit skillsontario.com or find us on Twitter: twitter.com/skillsontario, Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Skills-Canada-Ontario/153697034656518 and YouTube: youtube.com/user/SkillsOntario.

About Union Gas
Union Gas Limited, a Spectra Energy (NYSE: SE) company, is a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with 100 years of experience and service to customers, assets of over $6.4 billion and approximately 2,200 employees. The distribution business serves about 1.4 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in more than 400 communities across Ontario. Union Gas is one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2014. For more information, visit uniongas.com or find us on Twitter: twitter.com/uniongas, Facebook: facebook.com/uniongas and YouTube: youtube.com/user/uniongas.

SOURCE: Union Gas Limited

For further information:


Union Gas Limited 
Andrea Stass
Manager, External Communications and Media Relations
Ph: 519 436-5490 or 1-800-571-8446 ext. 5005490
Cell: 519 365-1010

Skills Canada - Ontario
Lisa Olsen
Ph:  519-749-9899 ext. 225

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