First-Annual Experiential Learning Week in Ontario

Toronto, ON (November 22, 2010) – At a special Queen’s Park event, Ontario Minister of Education Leona Dombrowsky officially launched the first-ever Experiential Learning Week, which will be celebrated across the province from November 22 through November 26.
Organized by the Provincial Partnership Council and Passport to Prosperity, Experiential Learning Week encourages employers to participate in school-work programs for Ontario high-school students, such as cooperative education, job shadowing, mentoring, workplace tours and career fairs. It is also a time to recognize the invaluable contributions of those employers who participate in school-work programs.
“Our government has taken key steps to expand hands-on learning opportunities for students, and there has never been a better time for employers to participate in school-work programs in Ontario,” said Minister Dombrowsky. “When it comes to preparing our next generation for success, it is time to think beyond the classroom.”
Today, an estimated 40,000 employers across Ontario participate in experiential learning programs for high school students. Throughout the week special events and activities are being held to raise awareness of the valuable experiences that school-work partnerships offer for students, employers and communities.
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre wins Employer Champion Award

At the event, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre was honoured with a 2010 Passport to Prosperity Employer Champion Award, recognizing the hospital’s impressive student programs.

Through its unique partnership with the Toronto District School Board, Sunnybrook welcomes 60 to 80 secondary school students each year through placements in a wide range of areas, such as medical, laboratory, bio-medical engineering, administration, art therapy, outpatient clinics, marketing, event planning and more. For students in the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Sunnybrook offers placements in trade positions such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical. In addition, Sunnybrook hosts an annual Healthcare Career Fair for students, with approximately 25 healthcare disciplines represented.

“We gain so much from having students on-site at Sunnybrook, and the opportunity to develop our future workforce. Our staff, patients and residents benefit from the energy, enthusiasm and innovation that young people bring to the job,” said Barry McLellan, president and CEO, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “All of us at Sunnybrook recognize the importance of offering these student experiences, particularly as they help raise awareness of the career opportunities available in the medical field and beyond.”

First recipients of Passport to Prosperity Ontario Employer designation announced

This year, the Provincial Partnership Council launched the Passport to Prosperity Ontario Employer designation to recognize outstanding employers that provide large numbers of experiential learning opportunities to students across the province. Recipients of the designation must provide a minimum of 50 experiential learning opportunities in a single academic year.

During the official launch of Experiential Learning Week, the inaugural recipients of the designation were announced, namely: the Ottawa Police, RONA, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Westmont Hospitality Group, Clarion Nursing Home and the Ministry of Natural Resources Junior Ranger Program.

“The Passport to Prosperity Ontario Employer designation distinguishes an elite group of employers that are supporting the futures of young people across the province, and for which their communities, industry sectors and employees should be proud,” added Mr. Hamovitch.

About Passport to Prosperity and the Provincial Partnership Council

Passport to Prosperity is a province-wide initiative sponsored by the Provincial Partnership Council (PPC) that encourages and supports Ontario employers in providing high school students with experiential learning opportunities. Comprised of leaders from the private, public and non-profit sectors, the PPC works closely with the Ontario Ministry of Education; the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities; and the Ontario Business Education Partnership, representing business-education councils and local training boards across the province.

To learn more about Passport to Prosperity, please visit:


For more information, please contact: For more information, please contact:
Miranda Gulland, Hill & Knowlton Meredith Rogers, Hill & Knowlton
416-413-4730 416-413-4755

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