Acadian-styled West Prince business mixer to focus on internship programs

DEBLOIS – Jan. 7, 2019 – All West Prince business people are invited to an Acadian-styled informational business mixer at the Centre Acadien de Prince-Ouest (French school-community center) in Deblois Wednesday, Jan. 16 (new date), from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Participants will get to network and learn about two internship programs – PERCÉ and LIENS Work Experience – that could possibly provide them with a subsidized employee.

This free, bilingual event is being presented jointly by the West Prince Chamber of Commerce, the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, RDÉE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council), Wellington Rural Action Centre and the Conseil Rév. S.-E. Perrey Inc.

The evening will include lots of delicious finger foods and lively Acadian music as business people from both chambers mingle and learn about each other. A cash bar service will be available. A number of door prizes will be drawn.


The primary focus of the evening will be the presentations on RDÉE PEI’s two internship programs that provide wage subsidies to employers. Both programs are based on helping the employee find a valuable work experience. Employers are however needed throughout the year, all over the province, and will often be contacted as needed. Employers’ names can also be placed in a data base ahead of time in case an intern would be interested in working in their field.

Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with RDÉE PEI, will first give a presentation on the PERCÉ program. Geared towards university and college students (under 30 years of age) in their final years of studies, this program helps youth find a summer job specifically in their field on PEI for eight to 12 weeks.

PERCÉ, entering its 16th year, gives them a first glimpse of their industry, helps them establish contacts in their field and encourages them to settle permanently on PEI. This highly successful program, which reimburses employers $6 per hour for up to 37.5 hours a week, has a remarkable 81 per cent repatriation rate.

Chérine Stevulu, coordinator of the LIENS Work Experience, will explain how her internship program helps skilled immigrants and newcomers integrate themselves into a first work experience on PEI. The program helps them find a 12-24 week internship, any time of the year.

It also helps them establish contacts in the industry and shows them how the Canadian workplace functions. It is hoped that employers will keep them on after the internship. The program reimburses employers $5 an hour for up to 37.5 hours a week.

Participants will also hear a brief presentation on the Francophone Ignition Competition, a “Dragon’s Den” type contest that offers a $25,000 first prize.


Sharon Horne and Alana Leard of Rural Community Learning will then give a presentation on the Stepping Stones to Success (SSTS) youth employment program.

Sponsored by Rural Community Learning, SSTS is aimed at participants between the ages of 16 and 30 years. The program consists of 12 weeks of classroom training focusing on life and employability skills, career exploration, mental wellness, college tours, learning styles and much more. Following the classroom portion, participants are assisted with job placements if a suitable employer match is found. A 14-week wage subsidy is offered to the employer to cover 50% of minimum wage for a minimum of 30 and maximum of 40 hours per week.

Tammy Rix of the West Prince Chamber of Commerce will give an update on Chamber events and is very excited to discuss a unique pilot program with GoForth Instititute that is being implemented. GoForth is Canada’s leading provider of online and mobile small business education. Since 2009, the institute has trained over 10,000 entrepreneurs, who learn all the skills they need to start, run and grow their small business successfully

Rix believes the program will help enhance the Chamber’s unique value proposition and drive new membership of entrepreneurs and small business owners.


PHOTOS: Stéphane Blanchard, youth development officer with RDÉE PEI, and Chérine Stevula, LIENS project coordinator, will give presentations on the PERCÉ and LIENS Work Experience internship programs during a business mixer in Deblois Jan. 16.



For more information:

Raymond J. Arsenault
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
902-854-3439, Ext. 231

Tammy Rix
Executive Director
West Prince Chamber of Commerce
902-853-3616, Ext. 225