Mont Sutton had 85 open job positions when the human resources coordinator, Veronique Dumont, started working at the ski resort
She said, “Recruitment here, like everywhere else, is very difficult.” Dumont came up with an idea and partnered with the Eastern Townships School Board and CEDEC, an employability organization. They began the Earn While You Learn program. Funding from Services Quebec provides for students to get paid their normal salary while participating in 10 weeks of intensive French classes. The lessons help their language skills get ready to be at a level to start the winter tourism season.
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Karen Rojas, an immigrant from Venezuela, could not speak French or English when moving to the area. Due to the program, she is speaking both languages and works at the Mont Sutton ski hill. Rojas said she feels more relaxed speaking her new languages and is excited about seeing a white Christmas.