Wilkinson Announces More Opportunities for Area High School Students

June 13, 2010
Ontario Expands Specialist High Skills Major Program

Mount Forest- More Wellington County high school students will get an academic and career edge with the expansion of the Specialist High School Majors program at local schools this fall, John Wilkinson, MPP, Perth-Wellington announced today. He was joined by Rick Goodbrand, Principal at Wellington Heights Secondary School.

“We are helping more students succeed by giving them work experience in their community and opportunities to test drive their career interests while in school,” said Wilkinson. “Partnerships with local business assist our students to gain skills in high school that will help them make the right career choices. It is a winning combination both for students and our rural communities and I am pleased that our secondary schools can provide their students with this excellent learning opportunity.”

This specialized secondary school program helps students earn credits towards their diploma, gain sector certifications and focus on future careers through more hands on leaning opportunities and workplace experiences.

In Wellington County, new majors being offered in 2010-11 include:

    * Business Specialist High Skills Major will be offered at Wellington Heights
    * Transportation Specialist High Skills Major will be offered at Norwell District High School

“I am thrilled that we are providing more hands-on learning opportunities for our high school students. Our Specialist High Skills Major program is one of the initiatives that has helped more than 52,500 additional students graduate since 2004.”

– Leona Dombrowsky, Minister of Education

“By providing additional funding for an increasing number of Specialist High Skills Majors programs at our rural secondary schools the Provincial government is giving students a leg up to explore the world of work that goes beyond high school,” noted Bruce Schieck, Trustee, Upper Grand District School Board. “We truly appreciate this support for our kids.”

“On behalf of Members of Council for Wellington North I would like to thank the province of Ontario for providing our students an opportunity to gain first hand experience on the job, helping them in their long-term career decisions,” said Mike Broomhead, Mayor of Wellington North.

In 2010-11, there will be over 1,000 Specialist High Skills Majors programs in more than 530 secondary schools across Ontario – an increase of 260 programs and 100 schools over this school year.

In 2010-11, there will be 28,000 students enrolled in the Specialist High Skills Majors program across Ontario – an increase of 8,000 students over this school year.

The Student Success programs have helped raise Ontario’s graduation rate from 68 to 79 per cent in five years.

There are currently 18 different majors across Ontario. Examples include sports, non-profit, energy, agriculture, aviation and aerospace, and construction.

“Working together, we make things better,” stated Wilkinson.

For additional information, contact:
Cathy Winhold
Special Assistant


See the complete list of Specialist High Skills Majors available in September 2010 at:

Learn more about Ontario’s new Tax Reform at:

Ontario's tax changes are a key component of the five-year Open Ontario plan to create jobs, grow the economy, and build a stronger Ontario. The changes also include the introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax and tax cuts for business. It is estimated that these changes will help create almost 600,000 net new jobs within the next 10 years.