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National industry associations join with Canada’s colleges to address employment and innovation challenges

nr college industryOttawa, ON, January 30, 2014 – The Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC) has launched a coalition of leading industry and labour organizations to identify solutions to Canada’s current skills challenges. Co-chaired by ACCC President and CEO, Denise Amyot, and by Paul Charette, ACCC Board member and Board Chair of Bird Construction Company Ltd., the coalition seeks to enhance collaborations between colleges, institutes and industry sectors.

“Business and research partnerships with public colleges and institutes lead to economic growth and employment opportunities across Canada every day,” said Amyot. “Our economy and the members of our coalition partners depend on Canadians with advanced skills to innovate and grow their businesses.”

This new college-industry initiative will assist in identifying common skills needs across a wide array of Canada’s economic and social sectors. The coalition will seek to increase access to relevant cross-sector labour market information; domestic and international engagement to ensure relevance and quality of college programs and services; and recommendations that provide a basis on which to build a roadmap to even greater industry, college and student success.

“We had a great first meeting with many wonderful ideas and there was a real desire around the table to work together,” said Charette. “By working with colleges, Canada’s industry associations and employers can coordinate efforts to promote college educations in sectors with available job opportunities.” 

This coalition is coming together as follow-up from ACCC’s recent National Skills Summit. We will share best practices and explore possible cross-sector initiatives to accomplish at the national level. Industry representatives want to ensure that high school students, their parents and experienced employees in need of new skills are aware of all the education options available to them.

 “Our member companies in the residential construction industry are facing real challenges in finding the skilled workers we need  – a problem projected to get worse,” stated Kevin Lee, CEO of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.  “We are therefore very pleased to be helping to form this coalition between colleges and industry, across sectors, to ensure we have the workers we need for Canada’s skilled jobs of today and tomorrow.”

This initial meeting helped explore mutual priorities and areas of common interest. ACCC and its industry partners recognize the importance of expanding coalition membership from all sectors, with a priority on the inclusion of aboriginal business organizations.

ACCC is the national and international voice of Canada’s publicly funded colleges and institutes, working with industry and social sectors to train 1.5 million learners of all ages and backgrounds at campuses serving over 3,000 urban, rural and remote communities from coast to coast to coast.


Organizations supporting ACCC’s industry-college coalition include:

Aerospace Industries Association of Canada
Association of Canadian Community Colleges
Automotive Industries Association of Canada
Canada’s Technology for Food
Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers
Canadian Chamber of Commerce
Canadian Construction Association
Canadian Council of Chief Executives
Canadian Defence Academy*
Canadian Gas Association
Canadian Healthcare Association*
Canadian Home Builders’ Association
Canadian Labour Congress*
Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association*
Engineers Canada
Forest Products Association of Canada
Mining Association of Canada*
Railway Association of Canada
Retail Council of Canada*
Technology Professionals Canada

* Indicates supportive organizations unable to join the initial meeting.

For more information:

Shawn Dearn
Director of Communications, ACCC
613-746-2222 Ext. 3123
Twitter: @ACCC_Comms