Walter Surface Technologies takes action to help counter the impending shortage of qualified workers in Québec

The company hopes this initiative will encourage other businesses to implement succession planning measures.

MONTREAL, June 9, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Walter Surface Technologies takes the lead in succession planning in Québec, demonstrating its allegiance to our youth and their future. Pierre Somers, President and CEO, reiterates his commitment to education and succession planning by announcing the launch of a new internship program that offers students the opportunity to work for a large company. Mr. Somers invites other business leaders in the province to join him in his endeavour to promote education and look for real life solutions to the issue of succession.

The subject of demographic changes and the ensuing shortage of workers has been in the news for a number of years now. All fields of activity are already showing some deficiencies in terms of worker availability, whether in healthcare, technology, agriculture, food service or manufacturing. According to recent data released by Emploi-Québec, 730,000 jobs will need to be filled by 2015; and 500,000 of these vacancies will be the result of a massive move to retirement.1

In light of this information, Walter Surface Technologies has developed its innovative program called Objectif: Relève, whereby university students may apply for a three-month internship allowing them to explore the various components of a successful business, including the opportunity to work with the President and CEO. "This innovative approach offers an experience that is similar to the one I had with my father", says Pierre Somers. "In general, interns do not get a chance to work with upper management. My hope is that this will be an opportunity to share some interesting and productive ideas. After all, it's a similar interaction between two generations that helped further our company's growth." Students who wish to apply can do so by going to between June 9 and July 11, 2014. The student selected to be the first intern in the Objectif: Relève program will start his or her internship in August 2014. The company intends to pursue this program over a period of five years.

This initiative is only one of Walter Surface Technologies' many endeavours aimed at providing support to educational organizations and institutions. For several years the Somers family has offered its support to Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal and Institut de Tourisme et d'Hôtellerie du Québec (ITHQ). In 2002, the international strategic management chair at the HEC became the Walter-J.-Somers chair in honour of Pierre Somers' father.

This year, Pierre Somers has accepted to be Honorary Chairman of the 14th edition of the annual Îles-de-la-Madeleine fundraising lobster dinner in aid of Fondation Madeli-Aide. The foundation's mission is to promote education among the region's youth, in addition to encouraging young people to stay in school and strive for success. Since 1998, Fondation Madeli-Aide has granted close to a thousand scholarships to students who wished to pursue their education off-island, thanks to the generosity of donors and to the success of fundraising activities such as the ever-popular lobster dinner. "Fondation Madeli-Aide is a cause that is really close to my heart", adds Pierre Somers, "not only because of our commitment to education, but also because my mother is from the Îles-de-la-Madeleine region."

About Walter Surface Technologies
Established more than 60 years ago, the Montreal-based, privately owned Walter Surface Technologies, is an important provider to the global metal surfaces industry.  Aside from Canada, the company has established subsidiaries in the following countries: the United States, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Austria and Switzerland, and continues to grow a presence around the world. Walter Surface Technologies has its research, development and distribution quality systems certified under the International Standard ISO 9001: 2008. Walter Surface Technologies continues to grow and implement research and development to ensure it is producing the most innovative and sustainable products in the industry.  Walter Surface Technologies has developed into both a national and international success as it has received recognition from across North America and overseas. Key influential awards include, Wall Street Journal Award (US), Deutscher Material Preiz (Germany), American Eagle Award, CleanTech Cleaning Technology Award.

To learn more about Walter Surface Technologies and to view a full list of products, visit

  1. Source : Perspectives à long terme 2012-2021, Emploi-Québec

SOURCE: Walter Surface Technologies

For further information:

For more information or to book an interview with Pierre Somers, please contact:

Martine Geoffrion
DDMG Communications
514 894-1703

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