Community partnership at Fall Breakfast with the Mayors
Community partnership was the theme of the morning as the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) held their semi-annual Breakfast with the Mayors event Friday at the Burlington Convention Centre. In addition to a keynote presentation on Community Partnerships for Student Success delivered by Deputy Minister of Education Dr. Ben Levin, the morning also saw HIEC honour Burlington Mayor Rob MacIsaac and Halton Regional Chair Joyce Savoline with Partnership Awards.
HIEC has been presenting the Partnership Award for the past three years to individuals who dedicate their time to help the not-for-profit organization achieve its vision of inspiring youth in Halton to make informed career decisions. Mayor MacIsaac and Chairman Savoline were selected due to their longstanding commitment to HIEC programs and their strong presence at HIEC events over the past decade.
During his keynote, Dr. Levin gave an informative rundown of the upcoming changes and additions to secondary school programs and policies across the province. He spoke at length about the need to increase high school graduation rates and also emphasized the province's commitment to experiential learning programs and other out-of-classroom education initiatives which target those students who feel excluded under current education models. These sorts of programs, he added, will not succeed without business involvement and community partnerships.
The importance of this message was demonstrated earlier in the program when HIEC presented a panel of four high school students, each with a story of success from an experiential learning program in Halton. The young people, who have worked for credits in settings ranging from Information Technology offices to hospitals, all praised the value of their experiences and felt their respective pathways had better prepared them for the world of work.
Sheldon Arruda, one of the panel students, elaborated on his experience working with the Bay Gardens Funeral Home, noting the various challenges he faced every day and the many lessons he has learned over his past semester of work. For Sheldon, a grade 12 student at Notre Dame Secondary School in Burlington, the opportunity to share his story with the crowd at the breakfast was a 'great opportunity and experience that without a doubt served a good purpose.'
Mayor MacIsaac and Oakville Mayor Ann Mulvale also brought greetings from their municipalities, praising HIEC for its continued growth and many successes over the past year in partnership with business, industry and education. Some of these successes were highlighted in a multimedia presentation that showcased the strong and positive influence of experiential learning in secondary schools across the region.
The partnership theme continued after the event when HIEC offered a Community Consultation. Part of HIEC’s new FutureForce Halton initiative that will work with all community stakeholders towards securing a viable workforce for the Halton region in the coming years, the consultation provided a rare opportunity for people from business, education and government to share ideas and discuss workforce development issues. The data gathered at the consultation was used to shape the first-ever workforce development conference held on September 27.
HIEC has been bringing business and education together for over 19 years with the committed vision of inspiring youth in Halton to make informed career decisions. HIEC holds two Breakfast with the Mayors events, one in the fall, and one in the spring, every year to raise awareness and foster further partnership in the community. Click here for more information about HIEC and its programs.
Photos from the event: