September 28, 2012 – Fredericton, NB: The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, and the Honourable Craig Leonard, Minister of Energy and Mines, announced today support for Science East and the delivery of ILLUMINATE, a program designed to highlight career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

“Our Government’s top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Ashfield. “We are especially proud to invest in projects like Science East’s ILLUMINATE as they work to raise awareness among youth of the variety of career possibilities that exist in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  These fields are crucial drivers of an innovative and globally competitive Atlantic Canadian economy.”

A key outreach program, ILLUMINATE (formally called TEKFEST NB) which started on May 10, 2012 will be carried out until March 2014.  Coordinators of ILLUMINATE will work to develop linkages between private sector companies and youth to highlight career options in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their local community. 

“Our investment in this most-important, youth-oriented program will help foster the growth of new scientists and engineers and other professionals to assist with our sector-based strategies and rebuild New Brunswick’s economy,” said Minister Leonard, on behalf of Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud.

The federal government, through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), is investing $165,000 in this project, while the Province of New Brunswick is investing $200,000.

“Through ILLUMINATE, Science East engages students in hands-on science activities with people who are applying science and technology in their career. These activities will encourage the development of the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians necessary for New Brunswick’s economy,” said David Desjardins, Chief Executive Officer of Science East. “Our inquiry-based learning programs develop critical skill sets required for success in life and work in the knowledge economy of today including creativity and problem solving, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. We are pleased to work collaboratively with the Province and the Federal Government to build tomorrow’s workforce and foster economic growth.”

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INFORMATION: Ann Kenney, Senior Communications Officer, ACOA New  Brunswick; 506-452-3687