April 16, 2012
Marketing Supplement to Ottawa Business Journal

Algonquin College

Why hire the kid next door when you can hire a go-getter in your field?

Algonquin College helps employers find the skilled talent they need

Cathie Edmond, Manager, Cooperative Education at Algonquin College, has a simple message for employers in the National Capital Region.

“We have the help you need and we make it easy for you to get it.”

Each semester, Edmond and her team place hundreds of skilled students from 23 different programs with area employers through the college’s cooperative education program, in disciplines ranging from law clerk to interior designer and construction engineering technician.

Under Ministry of Education guidelines, these co-op terms must be at least four months in length, must pay the student and must include duties and responsibilities that relate to, and support, the learning outcomes of the student’s field of study. Ontario employers that participate may be eligible for a $3,000 tax credit.

Students must apply for a co-op position, have a grade point average of at least 2.7/4 and complete related work assignments. For employers, this means they are engaging with short-term workers with the skills and motivation to be true assets to their organizations.

“Employing a co-op student should make your job and your day easier,” Edmond said. “It shouldn’t add to your workload.”

Bridging the generation gap
Edmond and her team prepare students by coaching them on everything from professional conduct on the job to respecting the rules of the workplace.

“We are often regarded as experts in working with the younger generation and counsel employers on how to relate to young employees and understand their motivations,” she said.

In addition, Edmond’s team hosts on-campus networking events where students and employers can meet, and works to ensure that employers only have to deal with a minimal amount of paperwork related to co-op placements.

“We make it as easy as possible for employers,” she said. “We know they are busy. If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be looking for the extra help.”

The majority of co-op placements turn into job offers for students when they graduate. But in that rare instance when a placement isn’t working out, Edmond and her team are ready to respond quickly.

“The employer is never alone,” she said. “We can step in and help to resolve any problems.”

Algonquin College continues to expand the variety of degree and diploma programs that are eligible for cooperative education in response to the needs of area employers. Recent additions include the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Technical Writer, Biotechnology Technologist, Powerline Technician, Construction Engineering Technician, Welding and Fabrication Techniques, Building Construction Technician and Mobile Application Design and Development.

To learn more, please visit www.algonquincollege.com/coop/, call (613) 727- 4723 ext. 7623, or email coop@algonquincollege.com.

“We see students coming from this program ... as long-term employees that we hope to have working with us for many years to come. Algonquin’s program is well suited for our needs as an employer and based on our experience, both the school and the students work very hard to ensure that the program is executed with a high degree of professionalism. Great job!”
— Michael R. Hayward, Principal, Tax Services, Collins Barrow Ottawa LLP

“The Algonquin student we hired is very knowledgeable and confident. In fact, sometimes I find his skills are well beyond what his industry experience would indicate.” — David Dwyer, JSI Telecom

“My co-op gave me the opportunity to get out and experience different workplaces and get a feel for the real world. It enabled me to get a taste for different jobs and realize what type of career I wanted to pursue. I now work for a company with which I did a co-op and couldn’t be happier.” 
— Trevor Crane, Computer Engineering Technology –Computer Science Graduate

PHOTO ABOVE: Cathie Edmond, manager, Cooperative Education at Algonquin College

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