Loyalist College will host an All-Candidates Debate at Noon, on Thursday, October 4, in Alumni Hall. Candidates for the riding of Prince Edward-Hastings will participate, and members of the community are invited to attend.
Media students are organizing the event, which will be broadcast on 91X Radio.
Professor Robert Washburn, Coordinator of the e-journalism program at Loyalist, explained that information is being posted at the Vote! website (http://vote.onlinedemocracy.ca) on a regular basis.
“We encourage the community to participate in this forum in person, or via the internet,” he said. “Questions will be taken from the floor, and may be sent through e-mail as well. In addition, some of our students will be out in the community gathering questions to send to the forum. It will be interactive, and informative.”
One of the key focal points for the College debate will be the need for a comprehensive skills strategy, in light of the approaching skills shortage.
“All of us, including our partners in the provincial government, must find a way to implement a comprehensive provincial skills strategy,” said College President Maureen Piercy. “The evidence is clear. Demographics show that Ontario faces a serious skills shortage in the years ahead, which threatens the province’s prosperity and quality of life.”
The approaching skills shortage will impact a broad range of sectors, from construction to health care to mining, especially as baby boomers retire in the coming years. In manufacturing, for example, it is estimated that there will be a shortage of 100,000 skilled workers by the year 2020 due to retirements.
“It is critical that our strategy also include raising investment in Ontario College students to the national average,” said President Piercy. “Ontario must be a place where people know they can find well paid jobs, and employers know that every employee and new applicant has the necessary skills and knowledge to do the best job possible. Our political leaders and educational partners must be prepared to produce greater numbers of college graduates, and to retrain greater numbers of people in the workforce.”
Media Contact: Dianne Spencer, College Advancement & External Relations,
(613) 969-1913, ext. 2235; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Professor Rob Washburn, ext. 2157