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Loyalist President to Address Chamber of Commerce

March 13, 2008

Loyalist College President to Address Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce

On Wednesday, March 19, Loyalist College President Maureen Piercy will speak to the Belleville and District Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting about the skills shortage challenge in Ontario. Her topic will be, “Community Solutions: Working Together to Address Ontario’s Skilled Workforce Shortage”. Following her presentation, Chamber members will have the opportunity to provide input on this key topic.

There is an urgent need to retrain workers who have been laid off in sectors such as manufacturing and forestry, while other sectors struggle to find qualified employees.  The workforce shortage problems are projected to worsen as the baby boomers retire. Even with strong immigration levels, the Conference Board of Canada estimates that Ontario could be short more than 360,000 skilled employees by 2025, and more than 560,000 skilled employees by 2030.  Such a skills shortage would hurt our communities, our economy and the quality of services in Ontario.

Colleges Ontario, the provincial association representing Ontario’s 24 publicly-funded colleges, has initiated a coalition of business, education and labour leaders who are working together to raise awareness of this challenge. The Ontario Workforce Shortage Coalition, which represents more than 100,000 employers and millions of employees, is calling for a comprehensive Ontario strategy to ensure the province has the workforce it needs, in every sector. This strategy must involve business, educators, labour and government, working together in an effective manner to produce meaningful solutions.

For more information about the upcoming meeting, please contact the Chamber of Commerce at 613-962-4597.

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Media Contact:   Dianne Spencer, College Advancement & External Relations, (613) 969-1913, ext. 2235 or e-mail: