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Acadian-styled West Prince business mixer to focus on internship programs

Seven French-speaking and Acadian businesses are this year's recipients of awards from the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of P.E.I.
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DEBLOIS, P.E.I. - West Prince business people are invited to an Acadian-styled informational business mixer at the Centre Acadien de Prince-Ouest (French school-community center) in Deblois on Jan. 9, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Participants will get to network and learn about two internship programs – PERCÉ and LIENS Work Experience – that could possibly provide them with a subsidized employee.

The free, bilingual event is being presented jointly by the West Prince Chamber of Commerce, the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, RDÉE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council), Wellington Rural Action Centre and the Conseil Rév. S.-E. Perrey Inc.

The evening will include food and Acadian music as business people from both chambers mingle and learn about each other.

INTERNSHIP PROGRAMS

The primary focus of the evening will be the presentations on RDÉE PEI’s two internship programs that provide wage subsidies to employers. Both programs are based on helping the employee find a valuable work experience. Employers are however needed throughout the year, all over the province, and will often be contacted as needed. Employers’ names can also be placed in a data base ahead of time in case an intern would be interested in working in their field.

Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with RDÉE PEI, will first give a presentation on the PERCÉ program. Geared towards university and college students (under 30 years of age) in their final years of studies, this program helps youth find a summer job specifically in their field on P.E.I. for eight to 12 weeks.

PERCÉ, entering its 16th year, gives them a first glimpse of their industry, helps them establish contacts in their field and encourages them to settle permanently on P.E.I.

Chérine Stevulu, co-ordinator of the LIENS Work Experience, will explain how her internship program helps skilled immigrants and newcomers integrate themselves into a first work experience on P.E.I. The program helps them find a 12-24 week internship, any time of the year.

Participants will also hear a brief presentation on the Francophone Ignition Competition, a “Dragon’s Den” type contest that offers a $25,000 first prize.

STEPPING STONES TO SUCCESS

Sharon Horne and Alana Leard of Rural Community Learning will then give a presentation on the Stepping Stones to Success (SSTS) youth employment program.

Sponsored by Rural Community Learning, SSTS is aimed at participants between the ages of 16 and 30 years. The program consists of 12 weeks of classroom training focusing on life and employability skills, career exploration, mental wellness, college tours, learning styles and much more.

Tammy Rix of the West Prince Chamber of Commerce will give an update on Chamber events and will discuss a unique pilot program with GoForth Instititute that is being implemented.

The storm date for this business mixer is Jan. 16.

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