Celebrating 25 years!

HALTON, ON – On November 21st, 2014 political dignitaries, education professionals, and community members gathered to celebrate the Halton Industry Education Council’s 25th anniversary on Monday, taking part in an interactive two-part program featuring a HIEC living museum and formal keynote address. Mayor Rick Goldring, Halton District School Board Director of Education David Euale, and Halton Catholic District School Board Director of Education Paula Dawson joined over 125 other guests at Burlington’s historic Paletta Mansion.

Bob Percy, chair of the HIEC Board of Directors, spoke about the organization’s vital role in local economy during his keynote address. “HIEC’s mission is to support youth in finding work they feel passionately about,” Percy said. “When people are motivated and inspired by their work, local industry flourishes.” HIEC Executive Director Kelly Hoey joined Percy on stage, speaking frankly about what has been a challenging year for the organization.

“Government funding cuts have revealed areas of vulnerability in our programs and services,” Hoey said to a crowd peppered with former HIEC board members and champions. “But to see our partners in industry, education, and community gathered here tonight and speaking with the people who conceived of this organization 25 years ago, it’s clear that our role in Halton Region is as necessary now as it was then. Creativity is driven by necessity, and we’re taking a creative approach to planning the next 25 years. HIEC is ready for this next step.”

To mark its 25 year of service, HIEC invited a slate of long-standing champions to represent the organization’s past, present, and future in its lively keynote program. Guests sported hand-made buttons indicating their tie to the organization—as an event attendee, board member, or program participant.

Georgetown District High School student Fiona Smith drew applause during the evening’s formal program when she, joined by friend Mara Caldwell, spoke about her experience with several of HIEC’s most beloved programs, including Connecting Generations Through Technology and the Grade 8 Career Awareness Program.

HIEC plays a critical support role for both the Halton District and Halton Catholic District School Boards, offering access to services and programs that enhance experiential learning and pathways education in Halton. HIEC recruits for and helps to coordinate cooperative education, provides a variety of supports and training sessions for educators, chairs and convenes meetings with partners across education and industry, and offers resources dedicated to providing information about a range of local learning programs. Following through on its commitment to inspiring informed career decisions, HIEC provides support for post-secondary pathways in Halton and does work with Sheridan College and its GTA affiliates.

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