Rio Tinto Alcan's Keeping youth in school together initiative:
inspirational mobilization in the business community
Montreal, January 22, 2010 - The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal congratulates Rio Tinto Alcan for launching its initiative to promote persistence in school, unveiled today during one of its public forums. As part of its new Keeping youth in school together program, Rio Tinto Alcan Canada has committed to pouring $15 million over the next five years into a fund to support young people and help them succeed at school.
"Keeping youth in school is an issue that attracts widespread attention and involvement," declared Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. "The business community is particularly aware of it. The future of our society - both socially and economically - depends above all on education. By creating this program, Rio Tinto Alcan is demonstrating its sensitivity to this situation and is setting a positive example for the rest of the business community to follow."
"Quebec ranks ninth among Canada's 10 provinces in terms of the graduation rate," said Mr. Leblanc. "Almost a third of 20-year-olds today still don't have their high school or trade diploma. This situation has very serious consequences for the future of these young people, but it is also a major obstacle to the future prosperity of Quebec and the city, particularly against a backdrop of impending labour shortages. Increasingly business communities are acknowledging their responsibility in the face of this challenge and are trying to help change things. In this respect, Rio Tinto Alcan's initiative is exemplary."
"I am convinced that many businesspeople will follow on the heels of Rio Tinto Alcan, as BMO, CGI, Cirque du Soleil, Gaz Métro, Power Corporation and SNC-Lavalin have done by accepting Jacynthe Côté's invitation to do their share to help keep young people in school," added Mr. Leblanc.
"This is the spirit in which the Board of Trade every year invites the business community to take part in Operation "Back to School," which is already in its 14th year," concluded Michel Leblanc.
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.
Coordinator, Media relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015