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The Learning Enrichment Foundation and the Canadian bicycle industry announce Bicycle Assembly & Maintenance program

Tuesday, February 3rd 2009 11:11:31am

For immediate release


The Learning Enrichment Foundation and the Canadian bicycle industry announce Bicycle Assembly & Maintenance program (BAM)

February 3rd 2009 - The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) and The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC) are launching a new training program to create highly skilled bicycle mechanics to service the rapidly growing number of Canadian cyclists.

The Bicycle Assembly and Maintenance (BAM) project is a co-operative initiative between LEF, Norco Performance Bikes, Outdoor Gear Canada and Shimano; several prominent specialty bicycle retailers in the GTA, and the City of Toronto.

BAM will be a feeder system of trained entry level bicycle mechanics to address the growing need of the independent specialty bicycle stores in the GTA. The program involves a total of eight weeks of intensive training in the skills required for a successful career in the cycling industry. The training occurs both in a fully-equipped workshop, and-on-the-job assignments at the participating dealer's shops. It is expected that the program will graduate between 40 and 50 mechanics each year.

In making the announcement, Peter Frampton, Executive Director of the Learning Enrichment Foundation said, "This is another example of a triple win - guaranteed job placement for successful trainees, well trained employees for local businesses and more skilled bike mechanics to ensure cyclists are riding well-maintained, safe bikes."  

Over the past six months LEF has worked closely with Norco Performance Bikes, Outdoor Gear Canada, Shimano and four prominent GTA bike store owners to build a comprehensive training curriculum that will equip mechanics with the skills to work on the sophisticated drive-train and braking systems found on high quality commuter bicycles.

Rob White, Vice-President of Sales for Outdoor Gear Canada notes, "The modern bicycle is the epitome of transportation efficiency. With up to 27 speeds, hydraulic braking and suspension systems modern bicycles require service by mechanics with ever improving knowledge and skills. This program will give motivated individuals an opportunity to acquire and build the basic skills necessary to service high-tech bikes.
The program is fully funded with seed capital provided by BTAC and participating  bicycle industry partners."

BTAC President, Pete Lilly states, "Without a doubt, one of the toughest challenges faced by retail store owners in the GTA is the need to staff their stores with qualified mechanics.  We can hardly wait for the first BAM graduates to help meet this growing need."

The training workshop is currently under construction in anticipation of the first class commencing on February 16, with the expectation that the initial graduates would be ready for placement in bike stores by the beginning of the cycling season in mid April.

For more information, please contact Adele Peden - 416-769-0830 (APeden@lefca.org) at LEF or Janet O'Connell - 905.853.5031 ext.223 (joconnell@btac.org) at BTAC.

About The Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF)
- The LEF was founded in 1978 and today serves as a model of Community Economic Development and poverty reduction in Toronto. LEF currently employs 297 staff and offers quality childcare to 1500 children everyday, as well as providing immigrant settlement supports language training, career exploration, job search supports, youth programs and mentorship along with a variety of other skills training to thousands of new Canadians.  The value added programs available through LEF, generate skilled, qualified and motivated employees for local employers.

About the Bicycle Trade Association of Canada (BTAC)
- The Bicycle Trade Association of  Canada (BTAC) is the national voice of cycling in Canada and the hub of the Canadian bicycle industry. BTAC advocates, builds partnerships, promotes trade and commerce and seeks to motivate, unite and inspire Canadians to make bicycling the pre-eminent form of transportation and   recreation in Canada. See www.btac.org for more information.