NorQuest celebrates employer-partners alongside Lieutenant Governor

April 29, 2024

By Sarah Reid

NorQuest celebrates employer-partners alongside Lieutenant Governor

NorQuest celebrates employer-partners alongside Lieutenant Governor. 

Following a year of over 7-thousand successful work integrated learning opportunities, NorQuest College is celebrating the employers who helped make it happen. The Employer Appreciation Awards was held at the college’s main campus in Edmonton on April 24th and brought together dozens of organizations and businesses who are an integral part in giving NorQuest students the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience and apply their classroom knowledge in workplaces. Several industries were represented at the event, and individuals from each enjoyed lunch alongside fellow organization and business leaders, NorQuest executive members, and the Honorable Salma Lakhani, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.  

The college partners with a long list of organizations across the province to ensure students in more than 30 college programs get hands-on experience outside of the classroom. At Wednesday’s event three partners, who demonstrated exceptional commitment and impact, were highlighted with awards. 

“These award winners were nominated by NorQuest staff and faculty who witnessed first-hand the positive and transformative impact that creative, inclusive, and accessible WIL had on NorQuest learners,” said Alison Reaves, the Academic Program Manager for the Work-Integrated Learning & Career Education Centre.  

To further celebrate the partners that went above and beyond for students, the college developed three awards: the Transformational Award, the Community Award, and the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Award.  

“The importance of work-integrated learning lies in the real-world application of classroom learning,” said NorQuest College President and CEO, Carolyn Campbell. “While we take care of the educating, we rely heavily on our employer partners to help us with the other side. We are so grateful for our partners who open their workplaces and enthusiastically welcome our learners.”  

This year Michelle Batke of Trim Tech Industries was given the Transformational Award for her strong leadership skills and commitment to overcoming challenges and ensuring students have a supportive learning environment. 

The Community Award was presented to Brian Mwaka of The Mustard Seed for his enthusiasm, energy, and dedication to leading with care and compassion which aids in building a strong community for all. 

Finally, Karen Pinkoski of the Pride Centre of Edmonton was honored with the EDIA Award for creating a safe and inclusive space for students to learn and be themselves, while also supporting others.  

“The reason why we are celebrating all of these employer-partners is because of their commitment and dedication to our students’ success,” said Campbell. “These opportunities help students further develop their skillset so they can graduate with the best chance of landing their dream job. That’s where our employer-partners shine. They are the vital bridge between academic knowledge and practical application.”  

About Work Integrated Learning at NorQuest College

Work Integrated Learning places students in over 30 NorQuest programs in workplaces and organizations including business, health, and community studies. The college ensures it has strong relationships with organizations in diverse industries to be able to match students to placements in their area of interest. Over the past year, NorQuest has doubled its WIL experiences, and is projecting the creation of 5-thousand traditional WIL experiences college-wide in 2023-2024. If that number is combined with minimum wage, it means students will contribute more than 5-million dollars to the Edmonton Economy. The college is also increasing the number of Community Service-Learning opportunities available to students by offering these experiences to those studying in the educational assistant, day home provider, disability studies, and early learning and childcare programs. In 2022-2023 NorQuest created more than 23-hundred CSL experiences and students contributed over 40-thousand hours to the local community.