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Industry Training Authority and BC Lions Roar Back Into Schools for Another Year With Lions in the House Initiative

Popular and Longstanding School Program Extended Through 2014-2015 Emphasizing the Power of Choice

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/22/14 -- Industry Training Authority (ITA) and the BC Lions Football Club are extending their partnership to provide a popular school program - the Lions in the House initiative. This is the second year that the Lions have partnered with ITA on this project.

Created specifically for youth in grades six through nine, the Lions in the House initiative, presented by CN Rail and supported by the Industry Training Authority, speaks to career opportunities in the skilled trades and railway safety. It focuses on the power of choice and being the best you can be. During the interactive session, BC Lions players deliver speeches on choices they have made in their lives, specifically in the fields of education and safety. Each session is also interspersed with athletic competitions that provide a unique opportunity for the students to compete against each other while teamed up with BC Lions players. Lions in the House helps participating schools build a sense of school sprit while at the same time delivering powerful messages.

Kicking off in January 2015, Lions in the House will make 25 school visits, and will travel throughout the province speaking to thousands of students.

The announcement was made at a press conference attended by BC Lions Players, trades training students, Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour, Hon. Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education, Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education, and ITA senior staff.

Quotes:

Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

"Through B.C.'s Skills for Jobs Blueprint, government is working closely with industry to put B.C.'s youth first in line for the one million jobs we expect by 2022. This partnership with the BC Lions is a unique way to reach out to youth at an earlier age to get them interested in the opportunities of a career in the trades."

Hon. Peter Fassbender, Minister of Education

"B.C. students benefit from this program because they get to hear directly from B.C. Lions players about their success. It's vitally important for youth to hear about positive experiences so they can make the right choices - both in school and in life."

Hon. Amrik Virk, Minister of Advanced Education

"Young people are the future of our province and we want them to know about the range of career opportunities for skilled trades and technical workers. Teaming up with the BC Lions is a great way to let students know about the exciting post-secondary choices that lie ahead of them."

Gary Herman, interim CEO, Industry Training Authority

"We're excited to be extending our Lions in the House partnership with the BC Lions Football Club for another year. Having the players visit schools around the province and deliver a positive trade career message is an important part of ITA's youth programs. Players are seen as mentors and mentorship is an essential ingredient in both sport and the skilled trades as it provides young people with the necessary support and knowledge they need to achieve their goal. Each player exemplifies hard work and commitment and can speak to the benefits of finding a career that they love."

Jamie Taras, Lions Director of Community Relations

"We couldn't be happier to be bringing one of our most important programs, the Lions in the House initiative, back for another year. We are proud to be able to bring this program to our province's young people, because it encourages, supports and teaches them about the importance of making responsible life decisions."

Terry Han, Dean, Faculty of Trades and Technology, Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU)

"We are excited about the opportunity to team up with the BC Lions and promote trades as a career. KPU Tech is committed to being actively involved in engaging BC youths and educating them about career opportunities in the trades. We hope to grow our trades student population and increase the number of qualified graduates we produce, which will ultimately help fill the gaps created by the projected skills shortage for high-demand trades occupations in BC."

About Industry Training Authority

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) leads and coordinates British Columbia's skilled trades system. ITA works with employers, employees, industry, labour, training providers and government to issue credentials, manage apprenticeships, set program standards, and increase opportunities in the trades. ITA is also a key collaborator in the provincial government's 10 year skills training plan, the B.C. Skills for Jobs Blueprint, which sets out a plan for re-engineering our education and training system to support our growing and changing economy and help British Columbians take full advantage of the opportunities presented by these changes.

About the BC Lions Football Club

The BC Lions Football Club is British Columbia's most successful professional sports organization with six Grey Cup titles to their credit: 1964, 1985, 1994, 2000, 2006 and 2011. Drawing on pride, decades of tradition, passion and a spirit of excellence, the BC Lions Football Club seeks to touch the lives of our community in a positive way and is dedicated to serving partners, sponsors, and fans.

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