HIEC celebrates 28 years by issuing a call for new and stronger partnerships


Halton, ON – Halton Industry Education Council is marking our 28th anniversary on November 17 by putting out a call for renewed partnership between industry and education across Ontario.

“HIEC’s 28 years serving this community and the province are a testament to the value of strong partnerships,” says Brent Scowen, the Chair of HIEC’s Board of Directors and President of Acosta Canada. “Everything HIEC has accomplished for youth has been rooted in partnership — this landmark anniversary is an opportunity to renew and strengthen those partnerships, and create new ones.”

HIEC, a not-for-profit social enterprise and registered charity, was created through partnership in 1989, when partners from the Halton District and Halton Catholic District School Boards, the Chambers of Commerce from Burlington, Halton Hills, Milton and Oakville, Sheridan College, local industry and municipal representation came together to officially form an industry education council in Halton.

Since then, HIEC has developed and implemented dozens of successful specialized programs and initiatives aligned with our vision of inspiring informed career decisions. HIEC has always had a strong Board of Directors consisting of industry and education leaders setting the direction for collaboration and success.

At the local level, HIEC continues to support the Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board through the Career Awareness Program, first established 25 years ago.

Each year more than 8,000 students from both school boards visit HIEC’s on-site Career Centre, where they learn about the occupations available to them in the world of work — and the pathways they can take to get them there.

Students travel to the Career Centre on buses provided by Attridge Transportation — the result of another great partnership that delivers daily impact. Contributors like Attridge are at the root of HIEC’s success and impact. Companies that recognize the importance of supporting an early investment in young people and helping them navigate the uncertainty of the world of work through mentorship are our champions.

“Our students need to have access to meaningful experiential learning opportunities that extend their learning beyond the classroom. HIEC supports our teachers and helps us build relationships in the community.” says Paula Dawson, the Director of Education for the Halton Catholic District School Board.  “We are proud to work in partnership to provide access to career planning information through the HIEC Career Centre – it is an amazing resource for our students”.

The Career Awareness Program is a gateway to experiential learning programs in Halton high schools, working to increase awareness and participation. It’s a critical part of Halton school boards achieving the recommendation to expand and strengthen experiential learning programs made by Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Highly Skilled Expert Panel.

With the Career Awareness Program and other partnerships with the school boards, HIEC is also well- positioned to support the Ontario Ministry of Education as they roll out the enhanced Grade 10 Career Studies course, providing Halton teachers with connections to highly-motivated local employers eager to speak to classrooms and provide on-the-job learning opportunities.

“HIEC has always provided a bridge for educators between students and their community; offering authentic experiential learning opportunities that value all pathways and celebrate growth” says Jodie Schnurr, Lead Teacher/Site Head – Gary Allan Oakville, HDSB.  HIEC also has established two longstanding mentorship initiatives, Women as Career Coaches and Men as Career Coaches. Both events bring together hundreds of business leaders and community members with young people for powerful evenings of inspiration and pathway planning. Visit www.hiec.on.ca to get involved.

“With attending the Career Centre in grade 8, participating in Women as Career Coaches in grade 11, and being a part of HIEC’s summer team as a post-secondary student, I have grown with HIEC and I have gained so much from these meaningful opportunities. I have learned that HIEC is a place where students are able to feel comfortable in expressing what career pathway they are interested in, and we as a career centre are able to guide them with our knowledge and resources to take control of their own career journey.” Says Meaghan Ouelett – Summer Student through Canada Summer Jobs Grant Program.

“With this anniversary, it’s amazing to look back at this legacy of partnership and how it’s directly led to programs that help young people have the skills connections and confidence they need to pursue what is right for them,” says Kelly Hoey, HIEC’s Executive Director. “It’s even more amazing to think about the future, and what new and stronger partnerships could bring for HIEC, our school boards, industry and the community”.

In addition to our local programs, HIEC operates two online communities: apprenticesearch.com, serving Ontario’s vital skilled trades economy, and EmployerRegistry.ca, which makes it easy for employers to get involved in experiential learning programs like Co-op.

About the Halton Industry Education Council
Established in 1989 as a not-for-profit organization, the Halton Industry Education Council (HIEC) is a joint venture between industry, education and community partners in the Halton Region. HIEC’s goal is to enhance career education and inspire youth to make informed career decisions. For more information, please visit www.hiec.on.ca or connect with us on Twitter @HaltonIEC or Facebook.

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