News and Events

On Campus: Employers Offered Support

December 18, 2014
Written by Mark Keller, director of college advancement
Featured in"On Campus" in the Medicine Hat News

Have you ever experienced the frustration that comes when the software package you use most often is updated and ‘upgraded’ with the result that you struggle to find common icons and functions?

You hunt. You peck. You sigh. You face the reality that you have a learning curve, probably a short one, as you re-build the skills you need to do your job. Productivity slows for at least a while.

Exasperating yes, but that’s just a small example of the challenge employers and employees face when they try to keep pace with workplace learning needs. Software changes. Processes evolve. New technology makes a previously impossible dream not only a reality, but an affordable necessity. It can be a challenge to keep pace.

But there is good news.

Our governments have combined forces to create the Canada-Alberta Job Grant, a program that offers employers funding assistance when they need to develop the skills and knowledge of their workforce.

The program is employer-driven. A business identifies training needs, engages a third-party training provider, applies for approval, and when accepted, launches training. The program funds a third of the training costs up front, and provides another third when the training is complete.

It seems like a great deal. I should note that I’ve just skimmed over the process and I’m not pretending to be an expert! But there is a lot of information online and from local government folks to help make sense of the process.

MHC can help, too, because there is an obvious link to our mission.

Yes, the word “college” often evokes the mental image of ‘young’ students studying full time on their way to certificates, diplomas, and degrees, but we work hard to serve the needs of working individuals and their employers, too.

If you take a quick look at the courses and programs facilitated through our Continuing Studies group you’ll see that professional development and skills development for employees is a significant aspect of our business.

And beyond the opportunities noted, the good people in Continuing Studies are happy to build customized opportunities tuned directly to business needs. That willingness, combined with access to funding support, presents a new range of opportunity for regional businesses.

By the way, the non-profit sector may also be eligible to access the support available.

Look online for information about the Canada-Alberta Job Grant or give me a shout a I can help point you in the right direction.

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