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 Moncton Campus, the not-for-profit company that provides air traffic control services across Canada is one of the College’s most important partners. NAV CANADA looks to NBCC for three quarters of its New Brunswick and Nova Scotia technological workforce, and helps the College match its curriculum to industry needs. This high-flying company that keeps Canada’s skies safe is the recipient of the 2020 Partner Award for the Moncton Campus.
“It’s almost as if I’ve never left the College,” joked Brenda Hopper, Manager of Technical Operations at NAV CANADA and a 1981 graduate of the Electronics Engineering Technology program at NBCC. “I would always go back for Women in Non-Traditional Careers days and things like that, and now we’re involved in helping NBCC keep the program current to what industry needs.”
NAV CANADA employs approximately 630 Electronics Engineering Technologists (EETs) across the country. In New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, the majority of the company’s EETs are NBCC grads.
“We continue to see high quality grads coming out of the course,” said Hopper. “We’re confident that the education they’re getting gives them the opportunity to do anything they choose to do in this field.
“We’ve been actively involved in a program advisory role for over 25 years, we attend senior project presentations at the College and we attend career fairs,” she added. “The students know who we are, and they know that we hire for careers.”
While most NBCC grads who work for NAV CANADA do so in Atlantic Canada, some are working for the company in other parts of the country. In her company, Hopper has gained a reputation for having ready access to knowledgeable, competent EETs. At times her colleagues in central and western Canada turn to her for recruitment help.
“The success we’ve had with NBCC grads has been noticed across the country and at times other areas come to me looking for new EETs,” she said. “And some NBCC grads want to work in other parts of the country.”
Since 1996, NAV CANADA has provided air traffic control, airport advisory and aeronautical information services, and weather briefings for more than 18 million square kilometres of Canadian domestic and international airspace.