As NBCC prepares learners for careers in their chosen fields, community and industry partners play a vital role. Whether they donate bursary funds or equipment, host workplace practicums, provide applied learning opportunities, visit classrooms as guest speakers or hire graduates, their contributions help make the NBCC experience extraordinary for students.
At the Saint John Campus, the region’s largest employer is one of the College’s most important partners. J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) has a staff of more than 16,000, including 1,700 graduates of NBCC, and boasts operations in agriculture, forestry, construction, hydro energy, consumer products, retail and distribution, shipbuilding, and transportation. For its long history of support for NBCC programs and graduates, JDI has been recognized as the recipient of the 2020 Partner Award for the Saint John Campus.
“NBCC is obviously a very strong partner for us,” said Colleen Baxter, Vice President of Human Resources for JDI. “On an annual basis, we hire 30-plus students on a full-time basis, and we have 50-plus students here during co-op work terms.
“What I love about NBCC is its customer focus. They’re focused on the students, and also on the needs of industry and the community. They take the time to clearly get to know what our needs are and work closely with us to make sure we get what we need.”
Like many other companies, JDI has an aging workforce. At the same time, the company is growing, so its workforce needs are abundant. The strong partnership that the company enjoys with NBCC helps it meet its workforce needs.
For NBCC, the partnership with JDI goes much deeper than employment opportunities for students. The company has donated equipment to the College, and has worked with the College to promote women in trades and trades-oriented learning in secondary schools. JDI is also the largest employer of apprentices in New Brunswick, and is committed to helping keep New Brunswick graduates working in New Brunswick.
“JDI and NBCC have a common interest in keeping people here in New Brunswick, bringing New Brunswickers who are working in other parts of the country home, and making New Brunswick home to newcomers,” said Baxter. “That’s part of what it means for JDI to be here, working with partners who also love this region and want to see it grow.”