August 14, 2008 10:30 ET

RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication Shop Providing Trainees With Tools for Life

BOUCHERVILLE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Aug. 14, 2008) - RONA inc. (TSX:RON), the largest Canadian retailer and distributor of hardware, renovation and gardening products, is proud to announce that over 2,000 objects destined to bring the 2010 Winter Games to life have been manufactured at the RONA Vancouver 2010 Fabrication (Fab) Shop since the project's start last November, including street barricades, hockey stick racks and picnic tables. A total of 12 trainees have graduated from the program with 16 new recruits currently attending the Fab Shop's training program.

Working in collaboration, RONA and the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC) partnered with community organizations to set up the Fab Shop, where small wood products required at the Olympic and Paralympic venues are built. The Fab Shop is also host to the delivery of a community-based training program providing carpentry skills training and supported job experience to individuals who have yet to successfully enter the workforce. The program is taught by a Red Seal-certified carpentry instructor and three supervising carpenters. It is certified by the Industry Training Authority (ITA), the agency overseeing British Columbia's industry training and apprenticeship system. A total of four groups of trainees will go through the Fab Shop 30-week carpentry training program until 2010.

"As a National Partner of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, RONA is truly helping build Canada's Games," said Michael Brossard, RONA's Senior Vice President of Marketing. "Community-based programs such as the Fabrication Shop are a great example of how we can contribute not only towards building Olympic and Paralympic venues but to building lives as well."


The first of four Fab Shop training groups was composed of urban youth who have had difficulty entering and staying in the workforce. A total of 12 out of the 17 original recruits graduated from the program. To date, nine graduates have obtained a job with three staying to work in the Fab Shop as carpenter's helpers where they will also mentor future carpentry participants. The participants were referred by Tradeworks Training Society, a non-profit organization that supported the trainees with counselling during the program and helped them obtain employment.

"The Fab Shop gave me a chance to complete my first year of carpentry training and to obtain a job here as a carpenter's helper," said Fab Shop first-group graduate Mar Htoo Rae Sie. "Today I am very happy because I achieved my goals and I have plans to continue my training in the future," he added.


The new group of trainees working at the Fab Shop is composed of 16 urban Aboriginal men and women. Aged 19 to 55, they all face significant obstacles, including limited employment and life skills, financial difficulties and inadequate housing. Aboriginal Community Careers Services Society (ACCESS), a non-profit organization that provides employment training and life skills to urban Aboriginal people, referred the new recruits.


At RONA, sustainable development means growth for our communities and our employees, as well as respect for the environment. Two of our most significant initiatives, among the many already in place, are the "Growing with Our Athletes" program, through which RONA supports 100 Canadian athletes, and the RONA Foundation, established in 1998 to provide help for young people 12 to 30 years old by supporting local organizations and projects that fight the school dropout problem and illiteracy or offer training to help young people learn a trade or occupation.

Where the environment is concerned, adopting responsible practices in this field has always been a priority at RONA. At a time when most citizens had yet to see the environment as a major concern, RONA took part in establishing a Quebec-wide used-paint recovery and recycling program - an economical and environmentally friendly alternative to landfills or incineration. Today, the paint recycling program is extended to Ontario as well. Recently, the Company released its first RONA ECO brand products, which are much more environmentally friendly than equivalent conventional items, thanks to a product development approach that's based on a life-cycle analysis and a rigorous assessment process.


RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 corporate, franchise and affiliate stores of various sizes and formats. With over 27,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales. For more, please visit

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