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Headlines: Alberta

Canada's ministers of education observe National Aboriginal Day

“National Aboriginal Day provides Canadians with the opportunity to learn more about First Nation, Metis, and Inuit perspectives, wisdom, cultures and values,” said Ramona Jennex, Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC). “Aboriginal peoples are an integral part of our past, our present, and our future. Education ministers are committed to working with first peoples and education stakeholders to ensure that future is brighter for all Canadians.”
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Best practices identified to help Aboriginal peoples boost literacy levels

In support of National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2013, TD Economics has released an in-depth report examining the issues and opportunities associated with low-literacy levels among Canada's Aboriginal peoples.
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Summer holidays shouldn't be a break from learning

Now that summer is finally here, parents and children are excited about starting their summer vacation. But just because school’s out doesn’t mean we should take a vacation from learning. Research shows that children who don’t read over the summer lose some of the literacy skills they gained during the year and have a difficult time adjusting to school in the fall.
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Premiers recognize that a skilled and productive workforce is critical to creating good jobs and driving economic growth. This is why provinces and territories design, deliver, and report publicly on training programs that reflect local labour market needs. These programs, including some funded in part by the federal government, achieve measurable outcomes and help a wide variety of workers get the essential training they need to find jobs.
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Co-op programs have been around for decades however they are not mandatory and are not offered at all universities. These programs, in which students alternate between full-time coursework and real-world employment, enable students to evaluate the market demand for their degree and skills while they still have time to course-correct.
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Twenty-three community organizations from across Canada have received funding from the TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund. This round of contributions will support programs focused on financial education and initiatives for seniors, women, newcomers, at-risk youth, women in conflict with the law, persons with disabilities, and Aboriginal people.
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The Ontario Library Association is thrilled to announce that Joy Fielding is the winner of the 2013 Forest of Reading® Golden Oak™ Award for her book Home Invasion (Grass Roots Press).
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How small businesses become large job creators

A new nation-wide survey shows that Canadian small business owners are more than twice as likely to make a hiring decision based on word of mouth than by using online tools. The choices are usually based on word of mouth (friends, family, and a trusted advisor) - 68 per cent; online methods, such as job boards and tools like LinkedIn - 31 per cent; and outsourcing to an HR or recruiting agency - 8 per cent.
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Job seekers in Western and Atlantic Canada are likely to benefit from a steady hiring climate from July through September, while they can still expect some opportunities in Ontario and Quebec. Although some regional Outlooks are experiencing slight decreases compared to the previous quarter, job seekers will likely continue to find prospects in the labour market as employers throughout Canada expect the hiring pace will be moderate through the summer.
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Following little change the previous month, employment in Canada rose by 95,000 in May, with most of the increase in full-time work. This employment gain pushed the unemployment rate down 0.1 percentage points to 7.1 per cent.
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Measures of Success (MoS) was a national research project of The Centre for Literacy that was designed to assess the outcomes of workplace literacy and essential skills initiatives beyond immediate end-of-program results. This is the executive summary of the final report for the project.
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Hot off the press: Digital Technology: A CLLN Snapshot

This Digital Snapshot of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field takes a look at how literacy coalitions and frontline delivery agencies are using digital tools. Conducted from January to March 2013, the research phase of the project included interviews and online questionnaire responses.
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Interested in making your workplace more efficient? In this three-part series, workplace literacy and essential skills expert Sandi Howell talks about the benefits of skills training.
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Studio: Another new addition to the NALD family of websites

The National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) is pleased to announce that it has launched an online directory devoted to case studies of best practices in workplace education. Known as Studio, the interactive and bilingual website is national in scope, crossing various industry sectors and geographic regions.
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'State of the Literacy and Essential Skills Field' is an important and comprehensive report from the perspective of the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) and its national network of partners. Located in the NALD library, the document highlights the need for organizations with an interest in literacy and essential skills (LES) to look at issues through an LES lens.
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This year Alberta will present the COF Literacy Award to an organization that, through collaboration and partnerships, demonstrates outstanding achievement, innovation practice and excellence in literacy. The deadline for nominations is June 14, 2013.
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Strategies for incorporating technology in the ESL literacy classroom

Technology surrounds Learners with Interrupted Formal Education everywhere they go: computers, televisions, telephones, bank machines, CD players and microwaves. Most see that computers and technology are an important part of their new country. They are motivated to learn skills that will maximize their progress in English. Some learners embrace technology with open arms while others may be more hesitant.
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NALD is pleased to launch Modus, its new searchable and interactive directory of essential skills assessment tools. The innovative website includes free diagnostic tools as well as links to fee-for-service agencies. It allows users to browse tools by essential skill, location, audience and cost, when applicable.
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The federal government is seeking applications for projects that will help seniors use their leadership abilities, energy and skills to continue to make a difference in their communities through the New Horizons for Seniors Program. The deadline for applications is July 5, 2013, in all provinces and territories except Quebec, where the process will close on September 6, 2013, to coincide with a provincial call for proposals.
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Class of 2013 demands more from universities: Help us find jobs

Perhaps because of the relentlessly bleak climate, many students now accept that their path to a stable lifestyle may involve years pin balling their way up the ranks with a mixture of interning, contract work and networking. As a result, they have been calling for more work experience – like internships or field work – to be built into their education.
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Facing organizational change? Leader's messages must be clear

Everyone needs to know where they’re going. David Scholz, chief marketing officer of Leger Marketing, a Canadian-owned research and strategic marketing firm, emphasizes why being clear is an important skill for leaders. “If no one is telling you, you’ll set your own direction; the result is 100 staff members going in 100 different directions.”
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The Trucking Human Resource Sector Council Atlantic is receiving over $640,000 to study literacy and essential skills levels among employees. The study will allow the industry to better assess the impact of literacy and essential skills on safety, productivity and employment patterns. From this study, a toolkit will be developed to help employers address essential skills challenges in the workplace.
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Please take a few minutes to fill out this short feedback survey regarding ABC Life Literacy Canada's and Natrel Baboo's joint project: Family Literacy Resources for New Parents. The survey must be completed before 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, May 24, 2013, for your chance to win a Family Literacy Day prize pack.
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Preliminary 2012 data and revised 2007 to 2011 data on provincial and territorial labour productivity and its related variables for the business sector by industry are now available.
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Following a decline the previous month, employment was little changed in April and the unemployment rate remained at 7.2%. Compared with 12 months earlier, employment increased 0.9% or 163,000, all in full-time work. The total number of hours worked rose by 1.5% over the same period.
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Canada's Temporary Foreign Worker Program has been thrust into the spotlight in recent weeks. A report publishe by The School of Public Policy examines the effect of the program on the supply and demand of domestic labour. Author Kevin McQuillan finds there is no general labour shortage here in Canada that would warrant a reliance on foreign workers. Instead, he argues that Canada needs to scale back the program and build a skilled workforce from within.
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Solution found for skilled trade worker shortage

Canadian project management and industrial recruitment agencies have been sourcing trade workers from the United States and around the world for many years. An Alberta based recruitment agency has come up with a long term solution that will put Canadian workers first and have future Alberta construction projects less dependent on temporary foreign workers to complete the mega oil sands projects.
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Canadians respond to the national Call for Concepts for Social Finance

In the coming months, the Government of Canada will take several steps to bring players together and stimulate innovative ideas for addressing social and economic challenges. The Government will look to leaders in the social finance sector, such as the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, the Centre for Impact Investing at MaRS, Vancouver City Savings Credit Union, Social Capital Partners, and others to help identify a way forward.
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Aboriginal populations surge in Canada, StatsCan says

Aboriginal peoples are gaining ground in Canada's population, but they are losing their languages. And their family structure is dramatically different than other Canadian families, with less than half of children living with both their parents. The rest are in single-parent homes, living with relatives or step-parents, or in foster homes. Indeed, half the foster children in Canada under the age of 14 are aboriginal, according to the National Household Survey.
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How my learning disability affected my mental health

Learning disabilities are commonly considered a school-based issue; but struggling in school means struggling in life. This makes learning to be confident and acquiring a healthy mental attitude a particular challenge for those with learning disabilities. With children and youth as this year's focus for Mental Health Awareness Week, I would like to call attention to the relationship between mental health issues and learning disabilities.
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