Former PMP Workers Graduate Second Career and Academic Programs

January 15, 2010, 1:52 PM EST

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More than 90 former Progressive Moulded Products (PMP) workers will be part of a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, January 19 - the next step in a long process to move from unemployment into new jobs and careers. 

The ceremony will be the first of its kind since the closure of the 11 PMP plants in Vaughan, which suddenly put 2,400 people out of work in July 2008. 

PMP Graduation Ceremony:

When:   Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 6:15 p.m.
Where:  PMP Action Centre -2180 Steeles Avenue West, Unit 3

Approximately 36 people will be graduating from the provincially-funded Second Career program, while more than 50 are graduating from academic upgrading programs. Fields of study range from dental assisting and social services to food preparation and building trades.

Certificates will also be presented to workers who have completed an in-house bridging/ academic upgrading program, a unique joint partnership between the PMP Action Centre, Seneca College, the Toronto District School Board and the York Region Catholic School Board, with the assistance of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities-Literacy and Basic Skills Unit.

"These workers have overcome some of the most challenging circumstances after losing their jobs," said CAW President Ken Lewenza. "Along with recognizing their successful completion of important academic and career retraining programs, it's their spirit of solidarity and resilience that we will be celebrating on this day as well."

Lewenza will be in attendance at the graduation ceremony, along with Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy and a number of graduates who will share their stories. Some of the graduates include:

. Andrea is in her early 50s and a mother of three. She worked as a Quality Control Inspector at PMP for 23 years until it closed. Prior to coming to Canada, Andrea was a secretary in Jamaica. From January to September 2009, Andrea completed her academic upgrading and since September has studied at Seneca College to become a social service worker specializing in immigrant and refugee services.

. Parmajit worked at PMP for 14 years as a machine operator. She completed a program as a dental assistant and is currently doing her placement.

. Maria worked as a quality controller for about 6 years at PMP. She was a social worker in Ecuador. She just completed a program specializing in banking and financial services and is currently looking for work.

Graduates/workers will be available for interview prior to or following the ceremony.

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