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Canadian business is beginning to recognize that it needs to cultivate an educated, literate workforce to maintain its competitiveness in global markets. Traditionally able to rely on its abundant natural resources, Canada recognizes that it requires a highly skilled literate workforce if it is to take full advantage of new processes and technology designed to improve productivity. In this article, Canadian Business Reviewprofiles the efforts being made by four organizations across the country to address the issue of literacy.
"Literacy is a self-interest issue for Abitibi-Price," says Sharon Paul, VicePresident of Corporate and Public Affairs. "We want to compete successfully on the global stage, and an educated workforce is a competitive workforce."
Abitibi-Price's support for literacy goes back to the 1940s, when the forest products company joined with Frontier College to send teachers to logging camps in northern Ontario.
In 1985, the company was one of a group of founding companies of the Business Task Force on Literacy, which has played a crucial role in bringing literacy to national attention. AbitibiPrice has played an important role in the Task Force by providing funding and communications support.
Realizing the benefits of an organized program of support for literacy, Abitibi-Price undertook its own program. The company established grants to develop library and literacy resources in communities where it had plants and operations.
Projects vary from community to community depending upon …