FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PQA Funding Announcement, June 27, 2019 (l-r) Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, Jennifer Rushton, Vice President, Lottery and Gaming at PQA Testing, Terry Sheehan, MP for Sault Ste. Marie
Private, Public, Indigenous partnerships necessary
to tackle the skills gap: SSM Chamber
June 27, 2019
Sault Ste. Marie - In 2018, the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce led the charge on the adoption by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Network of a resolution advocating for the creation of private, public (municipal, federal & provincial) and Indigenous partnerships (PPIPs) to address the skills gap that is impacting employers across the country.
The Chamber is pleased to see that the Federal Government is taking steps to build these partnerships here in Sault Ste. Marie. The Chamber expects that today’s funding announcement of $2.6million, which will help PQA / Plato Testing build and develop its skilled workforce and help create 76 new jobs, will serve as a leading example of the successes that can come when we invest in partnerships with Canada’s Indigenous businesses.
Don Mitchell, president of the local Chamber explains: “Private and public sector employers across Canada are having difficulty finding the necessary labour to fill positions in both high-skilled and unskilled work. Significant efforts are being made to focus on immigration as the primary solution to these shortages. Canada must pursue a complimentary strategy that focuses on building economic capacity, academic participation, practical trade skills development and infrastructure on a regional basis that supports small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to elevate workforce and economic participation by our Indigenous people.”
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce notes that Canada’s Indigenous community is the country’s fastest growing demographic and is accelerating its birth rate far faster than non-indigenous persons. The Chamber suggests that Canada must look to this community and build a strategic program for our indigenous workforce of the future.
“It’s important for Canada to engage and provide support to SMEs to ensure workforce participation to reduce labour shortage risk, but it is also important because poverty is expensive… expensive for individuals, for their communities, and for governments at all levels. The most effective way to reduce the amount of money spent on social programs is to foster economic self-sufficiency," adds Rory Ring, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber.
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce thanks MP Terry Sheehan and the federal government for supporting PPIP initiatives like this and at the same time supporting Sault Ste. Marie’s business community and our community as a whole.
About the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce
The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of 700 plus business and agencies in Sault Ste. Marie and has been serving the needs of this community since 1889. The Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce will lead the way as the voice of business, advancing economic prosperity for its membership and the business community. Learn more about the SSMCOC at www.ssmcoc.com
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