More than 100 representatives of community agencies, educational institutions and government gathered today at the Student/Client Services Building at the Doon (Kitchener) campus of Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning for the official opening of the new Conestoga Career Centre.
The aim of the centre is to bring together various Conestoga services into a single location, in order to provide a one-stop site for activities such as career advisement, academic advisement, labour market information, preparatory studies and basic skills upgrading opportunities, fast registration for qualified applicants into Conestoga programs and much more. It began operation in August of this year.
The centre also serves as Conestoga's focal point for Second Career, the new Ontario government program to provide long-term, economically viable re-education options for adults who have experienced unemployment, underemployment, job layoff or injury.
At the event, President John Tibbits said, Conestoga's reputation is based on our proven record of service, innovation and quality in meeting our mandate for skills education that advances the community and the economy. This career centre is further proof of our continuing commitment.
The impetus provided by the provincial governments Second Career announcement convinced Conestoga that the time for action was right.
Provincial representatives at the event praised the efforts of Conestoga and of Ontario's other colleges and institutes.
Ontario Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities John Milloy commented, Thanks to our colleges, Ontario has been able to build a phenomenal training and education system that builds a strong workforce. Our college system is the heart of programs like Second Career, which is a key element of our $2 billion Skills to Jobs Action Plan. Were investing in training and education, giving people real opportunities for success.
Kitchener-Conestoga MPP Leeanna Pendergast added, The Conestoga Career Centre offers residents of Waterloo Region and the surrounding area a central point for valuable information, advice and services that can help them move forward with confidence into the future. It builds effectively upon the Ontario governments Second Career, and I am proud of the achievements of Conestoga - its a wonderful organization.
Although the Conestoga Career Centre operates at only one location so far -- the Doon campus in Kitchener -- the intention is to establish additional centres at Conestoga's Waterloo and Guelph campuses, and to expand the service to provide access for students at Conestoga's sites in Cambridge and Stratford as well.
Important to the creation of the centre has been a donation from The Frank Cowan Foundation. In all, the foundation has pledged $200,000 to Conestoga. The first instalment of $100,000 went towards the Conestoga Career Centre - renovation and construction, equipment and supplies, and staffing enhancements. At the opening ceremony, Conestoga made a special point of indicating the involvement of The Frank Cowan Foundation.
In acknowledgement, Maureen Cowan, President of The Frank Cowan Foundation, said in addressing those in attendance, Through the Conestoga Career Centre and the supportive relationships they have built with government, business and industry, Conestoga will continue to develop and implement essential programs that address today's critical economic issues in our community, but also address workforce needs as our economy transforms.
Established in 1995, the foundation aims to foster well-being and progress in areas of community need in regions where the Cowan Insurance Group and the Frank Cowan Company have offices. The foundation gives priority to transformational initiatives and programs that provide avenues to better education and an enhanced quality of life.
This certainly is the intention of the Conestoga Career Centre, which will strive to develop and deliver enhanced services that successfully meet the needs of clients and employers for a highly qualified workforce that is well-educated, technically proficient, properly skilled and adaptive to change.
Contact: Sandra Schelling, Conestoga College, 519-748-5220, ext. 3221, firstname.lastname@example.org; Lynne Short, The Frank Cowan Foundation, 519-650-6365, ext. 31608
The Conestoga Career Centre has a toll-free number: 1-877-748-3535