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While Ryerson continues to discuss a potential partnership on the historic Maple Leaf Gardens building with Loblaw Companies Ltd., the two have teamed up on a second project – an internship program called grad@Loblaw.

The paid program, which looks to hire 1,000 university graduates over the next five years, was developed by Loblaw and the Ted Rogers School of Management (TRSM).

Students are selected in groups of 100 at a time. The first hiring round happened last summer.

Of all participating universities, Ryerson had the highest number of accepted students, nabbing 16 of the 100 spots, according to Sean Sedlezky, TRSM program development manager.

“By the end, they understand how it all works, the big picture of Loblaw’s business,” said Sedlezky.

Participants can choose to continue working when the 18-month internship ends.

The school of management and Loblaw have had a significant relationship for years.

“Shortly after the school was founded, Loblaw donated $1 million, which has been used for things like scholarships, developing programs and online learning,” Sedlezky said.

Although Loblaw agreed to help Ryerson raise $20 million for Maple Leaf Gardens, there’s no link between a potential athletics centre partnership and grad@Loblaw, saidPresident Sheldon Levy. “I really do see every reason to believe that Loblaw and the Weston family would be great partners,” said Levy.

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