NBCC Industry Award 2021 recipient – Apex Industries Inc.

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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.

Apex Industries Inc. has long been a valued partner of NBCC and, in 2021, was honoured with the NBCC Industry Award. Learn more about this mutually beneficial partnership in this Q&A with CEO Keith Parlee.

Describe your organization’s relationship with NBCC.

 Apex Industries Inc. is a Canadian corporation with the headquarters in Moncton, New Brunswick.  A diversified company, Apex operates business units in the aerospace industry, heavy machining and fabrication, manufacturing / distribution of metal doors, frames and related hardware, sales / service of commercial and residential overhead garage doors.

 Being involved in a number of different industries NBCC has been a trusted trainer/educator for future Apex employees.  At present, over 50% of the staff at Apex are NBCC graduates from programs including, CNC Machining, Machinist, Steel Fabrication, Welding, Welding Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Human Resources Management, Electronics Engineering Technology, Business Administration and Building Engineering Technology (Architectural, Construction and Structural).

 Apex has benefitted and has been pleased to host several practicum placements each year in some of the fields listed above.  In addition to help promote the programs NBCC offers Apex has been donating materials and tools to some local high schools and offering an annual scholarship to local high school students to help with them with the cost.

How did this partnership come about? How long has your organization worked with NBCC?

Apex started as a small machine shop in 1961.  As the company grew the requirement for more trained staff also grew and NBCC has been a part of this growth, all the way through the process dating back to 1979 for our first placement.

How does this partnership benefit NBCC? How does it benefit your organization?

Being in the same community we can show local high school teachers and students some of the options for employment with training right here in our community.  Simply put both organizations benefit from the significant and important relationship.

What are the factors that make your partnership with NBCC successful?

Although our industries are very specialized the graduates coming for NBCC have the skills to start with us and continue to learn and grow their careers. 

If your organization did not have a relationship with NBCC, what impact would it have on your operations? (i.e., workforce, supply chain, etc.)

NBCC is a trusted source of trained students for our facilities.   Clearly there would be a significant void if the college were not in place.

What personal history, if any, do you and/or your colleagues have with NBCC? 

Apex has NBCC graduates at all levels of the organization.

As a leader in your industry, what advice would you give to students who are training for your field? What advice would you give NBCC in training them?

When a student finds a program that is of interest or a passion, our community has opportunities available to do this work at a global level from right here in New Brunswick.  

In terms of our advice and thoughts for NBCC, we would expect that the college would continue to stay up to date on the workforce needs both today and down the road at technology continues to emerge.

 As well, we believe it is important that the college continues to build on its success in terms of bringing in qualified people through their immigration program.  Once these new graduates, they are in a much better positions to fit in nicely in our businesses and communities. 

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