$80,000 grant to support "Skills Work!® For Aboriginal Youth" program
CHATHAM, ON, May 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Union Gas presented $80,000 today to Skills Canada - Ontario to fund a program that encourages thousands of Aboriginal youth to pursue career opportunities in the skilled trades and technology sectors.
During a time when there aren't enough skilled workers to meet growing demand across all industry sectors, the two-year grant allows Skills Work!® For Aboriginal Youth to continue its outreach efforts to Aboriginal groups across the province.
Aboriginal communities have been identified as the fastest-growing future workforce in Ontario, and the Union Gas grant supports two Aboriginal liaison officers, one in London and one in Sault Ste. Marie, who travel across the province to promote careers in skilled trades and technologies.
"This program has long-term benefits for Aboriginal communities and for the province's economy, as skilled trades are necessary for Ontario companies to remain current and competitive," said Mel Ydreos, vice-president of government and Aboriginal affairs at Union Gas. "At Union Gas, we're honoured to be again partnered with Skills Canada - Ontario, an organization that we've be involved with for the past 10 years."
The in-school presentation program reaches 110,000 students each year and focuses on programs and activities targeted at Aboriginal students and their career aspirations, such as summer camps for Grade 7 and Grade 8 students and hands-on workshops, as well as the Ontario Technological Skills Competition.
"Our continued support for Skills Work!® For Aboriginal Youth is one way we're acting on our commitment to building long-term productive relationships with Aboriginal communities based on mutual respect and economic opportunity," added Ydreos.
Ydreos presented the cheque to Gail Smyth, executive director of Skills Canada - Ontario, at the executive breakfast of the Ontario Technological Skills Competition in Kitchener-Waterloo.
The competition featured almost 2,000 competitors and 30,000 spectators and is the largest skilled trades competition in Canada.
"Union Gas has always been committed to supporting the work we do," said Smyth. "This funding will help us further our mission of not only helping young people succeed in rewarding careers, but also contribute to a bright future for Ontario's economy.".
Skills Canada - Ontario, which runs the competition, is a not‐for‐profit organization with a mandate to promote careers in the skilled trades and technologies as viable, first‐choice career options for young people in Ontario.
Union Gas supports the economic development of Aboriginal people through a number of scholarships and skills development programs, and sponsorship of leadership development programs.
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 $5.6 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 2011 and 2012 and one of Canada's Greenest Employers for 2012. For more information, visit uniongas.com.
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