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October 10, 2006
For immediate release

Holland College's New Centre for Labour Force Innovation to Help Meet Changing Labour Market Needs


Now more than ever, Prince Edward Island will be positioned to meet the labour market needs of the new economy thanks to the Centre for Labour Force Innovation, which celebrated its official opening today at Holland College.

With this new centre, Holland College will develop specialized training programs and services designed to meet the needs of emerging sectors like bioscience.

“I am always impressed with the way Holland College keeps an eye to the future,” said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), who attended the opening. “By tailoring its curriculum to meet the demands of an ever-changing workforce, it has established itself as a first-stop for students and for employers looking for skilled labour.”

The $7 million initiative was cost-shared by ACOA, the Government of Prince Edward Island and Holland College. The new building adds 38,000 square feet to the college’s Charlottetown Centre on the corner of Kent and Cumberland Streets.

The centre will focus on four essential elements in the development of strong workforce skills: training in bioscience technologies, a centralized location for materials related to research and development activities, a learning hub to help PEI industry plan and develop employee skills, and transitional programming tailored to meet the needs of those preparing to enter or re-enter the labour force.

Premier Pat Binns said the Government of Prince Edward Island is pleased to support this strategic initiative which will result in innovative programs for Island learners and industry. “The new centre is another rung in the ladder of Holland College’s continued success to identify and meet PEI’s skills training needs. The centre reflects the strategic vision of the college and its demonstrated ability to work with industry to strengthen our workforce and help individual Islanders succeed,” said Premier Binns.

Dr. Brian McMillan, president of the college, sees the establishment of the Centre for Labour Force Innovation as an effective way to address challenges facing the province’s labour force and economy. PEI’s has lower-than-average levels of participation in post-secondary training, as well as a declining and aging population. Together, these factors highlight the need to proactively and effectively help Islanders face the challenges of a new economy.

“The PEI labour force and the PEI economy are at a critical juncture. Demographic, structural and competitive forces of the new economy are significantly challenging PEI’s long-term economic sustainability. An integrated response by government, industry and training institutions to these challenges may well dictate future generations’ economic legacy,” said Dr. McMillan.

Media Contact: Jean Doherty
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