A new program piloted at St. Lawrence College (SLC) last fall and continuing this winter helps graduates gain employment in their field by learning “soft” skills, such as work ethic, communication, time management, problem-solving, self-confidence, and more.
The Bridge to Employment (B2E) program at SLC recognizes that while graduating with a college diploma is a critical step in attaining meaningful employment, other factors and life situations sometimes act as a barrier to landing that important first job out of school.
The goals of the B2E program are to:
- Enhance knowledge of own workplace strengths and areas for improvement
- Introduce design thinking and develop project management skills
- Allow participants to gain insights into a variety of career paths
- Provide an opportunity for resume enhancement and professional networking
- Increase confidence in participants to plan for their career
Another major component of the program is a partnership with the City of Kingston whereby the participants work on a research-based project that simulates real work. Examples include:
- A Marketing graduate working with the Director, Strategy, Innovation & Partnerships on the Kingston airport expansion and rebranding
- A Health Care Administration graduate working with the Interim Supervisor, Resident Programs and Services on how to engage residents in long-term care
- A Biotechnology graduate working with the Environment Director on an electric vehicle strategy to lower carbon emissions
- A Human Resources graduate working with the Workforce Development Analyst on creating a Micro-skill Credentialing Program
For Biotechnology graduate Andrea Sofia, the B2E program helped her better communicate her knowledge and skills to potential employers. “Through mock interviews I was able to overcome my nervousness and show the full range of my abilities to land a job in my chosen field.” Andrea also commented that her work with the City of Kingston increased her confidence to participate in other professional work environments. Watch the video about the B2E program here.
B2E is funded in part by the Government of Ontario through a program that helps publicly assisted colleges and universities, employers and other organizations create experiential learning opportunities. A new cohort started the program on January 21 and will run to March 15, 2019.