SAINT JOHN (CNB) – Twelve students from the Saint John area who will be attending the New Brunswick Community College have been awarded Wage Gap Action Plan scholarships worth about $31,000 by the Women’s Issues Branch.

Environment Minister Margaret-Ann Blaney, who is also the minister responsible for the status of women, made the announcement today.
"I am pleased that Wage Gap Action Plan scholarships are being given to these deserving students who are planning to attend the New Brunswick Community College in Saint John and Saint Andrews in the fall to study in a variety of fields, including electrical, power engineering and respiratory therapy," said Blaney. "Our government is committed to reducing the wage gap in our province by providing this financial assistance, and we are getting closer to reaching our goal."

The recipients are:

●    Keith Johnston, Hoyt, respiratory therapy;
●    Marina Burke, Saint John, electrical;
●    Ashley Stacey, Saint John, motor vehicle body repairer and painter;
●    Frank Robertson, Saint John, personal support worker acute care;
●    Robert (Scott) Rinehart, Saint John, pharmacy technician;
●    Julie Hayes, Saint John, power engineering technology (co-op);
●    Shaunna Dixon, Saint John, motor vehicle body repairer and painter;
●    Danielle McPhee, Saint John, electronics engineering technology;
●    Jessica Shannon, Saint John, power engineering technology (co-op);
●    Adam Grant, Saint John, practical nurse;
●    Kyla Allaby, Pennfield, electrical industrial; and
●    Ryan Walker, Garnett Settlement, practical nurse.

"Investments such as this will ensure New Brunswick Community College students and graduates continue to show up work-ready and equipped with the skills that they and their employers need today and into the future," said Marilyn Luscombe, president and chief executive officer, New Brunswick Community College. "The Wage Gap Scholarships are an excellent way of encouraging more students to pursue a post-secondary education that will better position them to achieve career success."

The program is intended to encourage women and men entering their first year at a community college or a private college to seek careers in trades, technology and others sectors where participation by women or men has been limited.

The program, valued at $150,000, awards scholarships up to $2,600 which recipients will use to offset tuition costs at their college of choice in 2011-12. Forty-five students received scholarships this year.