Chamber to provide keynote at literacy AGM

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Tom Hilton, chair of the P.E.I. Literacy Alliance, shakes hands with Kathy Hambly, executive director of the Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, are joining forces for the alliance’s annual general meeting.

The P.E.I. Literacy Alliance and Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce are joining forces at the alliance’s upcoming annual general meeting.

“I can think of no better partner than the Chamber to demonstrate the impacts of low literacy on the economic and personal well-being of Islanders.” says Jinny Greaves, the alliance’s newly promoted manager.

The alliance’s 24th AGM will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel in the Provinces Room.

“We invite everyone with a stake in literacy to come to the most important AGM in the alliance’s 24-year history.” says alliance chair Tom Hilton.

Kathy Hambly, executive director of the chamber, will be the keynote speaker. Her presentation will mirror the chamber’s recent presentation to the education committee of the provincial legislature. They laid down the challenge that P.E.I. create the best education system with the best educational outcomes for students in the country.

Hambly agrees that now is the time for collaboration with the alliance and with the larger Island community.

“Strong literacy and numeracy skills are fundamental to economic well-being,” says Hambly.

“Literacy issues in the workplace result in lower productivity, lower employee morale, more accidents, limited choices for employees, and fewer new hires by employers. We look forward to working with the Alliance to promote a culture of literacy and learning so that Islanders and the Island economy may compete and prosper today, tomorrow and beyond.”

Another topic of discussion at the AGM will be the recent loss of federal funding to provincial literacy organizations across the country.

“It’s a new day for the P.E.I. Literacy Alliance,” said Hilton.

“The loss of our core funding has had a huge impact on the alliance. We have had to restructure our organization to reflect this new fiscal reality,” said Hilton. “However, we are not giving up the fight against low-literacy in P.E.I. Over the next few months we will be focusing on finding alternative sources of funding so that we can continue to offer our programs to Islanders who need them most.”

He said literacy is a fundamental skill.

“Currently 43 per cent of working age Islanders lack the reading and writing skills needed to participate fully in our knowledge economy. We must work together to create a culture of literacy and learning for our Island to prosper.”

Organizations: P.E.I. Literacy Alliance, Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce, Rodd Charlottetown Hotel

Geographic location: Iceland

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  • Lesley Dunn
    September 01, 2014 - 07:39

    This is brilliant. Thrilled to see the partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the PEI Literacy Alliance. We have been working hard to raise awareness in Nova Scotia about the economic impact literacy has on the economy. Thank you for setting the stage for what will hopefully be increased partnerships between Chambers of Commerce and organizations working to up-skill low literate, low skilled, low employed and unemployed Canadians. Sadly $1.6 billion is lost in productivity each year to workplace accidents attributed to low literacy. Moving 84,000 off income assistance and into the workforce will save the government $762 million annually and the increase to the GDP will be remarkable. As a Chamber Ambassador for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce I challenge our Chamber to follow your lead.

  • Lesley Dunn
    September 01, 2014 - 07:38

    This is brilliant. Thrilled to see the partnership between the Chamber of Commerce and the PEI Literacy Alliance. We have been working hard to raise awareness in Nova Scotia about the economic impact literacy has on the economy. Thank you for setting the stage for what will hopefully be increased partnerships between Chambers of Commerce and organizations working to up-skill low literate, low skilled, low employed and unemployed Canadians. Sadly $1.6 billion is lost in productivity each year to workplace accidents attributed to low literacy. Moving 84,000 off income assistance and into the workforce will save the government $762 million annually and the increase to the GDP will be remarkable. As a Chamber Ambassador for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce I challenge our Chamber to follow your lead.