Conestoga news

June 10, 2008 4:35 PM

Conestoga Committed to Support Unemployed Workers Through Second Career Strategy

A new campaign has been launched to urge laid-off workers seeking retraining to consider programs at Ontario’s public colleges and institutes. Under this initiative, applicants may be eligible for funding to help with their retraining costs under the Ontario government’s new Second Career Strategy program.

Second Career Strategy will direct $355 million province-wide over a three-year period towards new career education for more than 20,000 recently unemployed workers. Conestoga College will play an active role in launching the program.

"Conestoga embraces the opportunity presented by Second Career Strategy to assist individuals in our region in their efforts to find new, rewarding and stable career directions," says Conestoga President John Tibbits. "Ontario’s public colleges deliver high-quality, credentialed programs that prepare people for lifelong employment in meaningful careers, and we certainly are looking at applying Conestoga’s innovative, entrepreneurial approach to develop new pathways that address the needs of Second Career Strategy participants."

To help laid-off workers find the training programs that suit them best, the Ontario’s public colleges and institutes have launched a public awareness campaign that includes college websites, a new province-wide toll-free line, 1-800-COLLEGE, and information materials for employment offices.

Specific information about opportunities at Conestoga can be found by going to the website homepage and clicking on the items related to the Second Career Strategy, or by going directly to

Ontario’s public colleges currently educate and train more than 200,000 full-time students and more than 250,000 part-time students. More than 90 per cent of college graduates find employment within six months (Conestoga’s rate exceeds 93 per cent), and more than 93 per cent of employers report being satisfied with the quality of the graduates hired.

Ontario’s 24 public colleges and institutes deliver quality programs that are subject to strict and consistent quality assurance and reporting requirements.

It is particularly important for laid-off workers to consider these quality programs now, as many applicants to Ontario’s public colleges will be eligible for funding that can help with costs of tuition, books, living expenses and other expenses related to the province’s new Second Career Strategy.

"Ontario’s colleges are encouraged by the decision of the provincial government to provide support to help laid-off workers get retraining," President Tibbits adds. "Our programs, our experience and our effective approach to career-related education are the best option for people seeking retraining. The people who enter our programs will get the training they need to find a new career for life."

CONTACT: Sandra Schelling, Second Career Strategy Director, 519-748-5220, ext. 3221,