Staying close to home pays for 16 local grade 12 graduates.

The Employment Services Centre announced the 2019 recipients of its Job Succession Scholarships. The objective of the program is to encourage students to remain working in Prescott-Russell once they complete their post-secondary education.

Each scholarship is worth $5,000 and is paid to students in $500 installments in return for them agreeing to work during the summer for a firm in Prescott-Russell and they must complete their post-secondary studies within five years of graduating high school.

Beginning this year, businesses could contribute funds for the program in order to increase the number of scholarships available.  The 2019 sponsors are Elpa (Ontario) Inc., Groupe Convex, Physiothérapie Plantagenet, and Contak Staffing Solutions.

Employment Services Centre Board Chair Sylvain Labrie thanked the selection panel who listened to presentations from the “dozens and dozens” of students who applied.  According to the centre’s Executive Director Caroline Arcand, there were more than 50 applications.

The careers being targeted by the Job Succession Scholarship program are in health, education, marketing and media, biochemistry, heavy equipment and agriculture mechanics, construction, nutrition, physiotherapy, criminology, and farm management.

Murielle Fortin of Physiothérapie Plantagenet said it is important for the future of businesses like hers to keep young people in the region for employment.

Superintendent of Education Jean-Pierre Dufour of the Conseil scolaire des écoles publiques de l’Est de l’Ontario–the local French-language public school board, said the scholarships benefit students and local entrepreneurs.

Arcand said that each year, Prescott-Russell loses residents in the 12 to 18-year-old range and she is pleased that there are business partners who have offered to get involved as sponsors of the scholarship program.

From École secondaire publique Le Sommet in Hawkesbury, students Zakary Ayotte, Janie Lalonde, Brianna Ginette L’Écuyer, and Kevin Lindenmann received scholarships.  Alexandre Denis, Arianne Pilon, and Alexandre Wicki are the recipients from École secondaire catholique de Hawkesbury.  At École secondaire catholique de Plantagenet, Tristan d’Avril and Jean-Mathieu Hébert received scholarships.  Mia Charbonneau and Justin Laviolette of École Secondaire catholique de Casselman are the recipients from that school.  Two students from École secondaire catholique L’Escale in Rockland, Noémie Beauregard and Angelique Cleroux received scholarships.  Presley Barwick and Hannah Marcellus from St-Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School in Russell were presented with scholarships, along with Kaitlyn Provost from St-Francis Xavier Catholic High School in Hammond.