I had the opportunity to speak this morning at the Burlington Economic Development
Corporation‘s Annual General Meeting.
Strengthening collaborations and partnerships is one of the priorities in Mohawk’s new strategic plan. Mohawk has more than 1,000 private, public and nonprofit sectors, with many in Burlington.
Our college can help companies grow and compete globally by working on applied research and capstone projects, providing co-op work terms to top young talent, developing marketing and advertising campaigns with students through The Agency at the McKeil School of Business and receiving customized training and development programs through Mohawk College Enterprise.
Here’s a copy of my remarks:
“Good morning everyone.
Thank you Frank for the invitation to talk about partnerships and collaboration.
Not only am I proud to serve as president of the number one college in the GTHA for student satisfaction and graduate employment.
I’m also proud to call Burlington – Canada’s best medium-sized city – my home.
And I’m not alone.
Burlington is home to thousands of Mohawk students and future ready graduates.
Since 2011, Mohawk has educated and served 5,000 full and part-time students from Burlington and another 400 apprentices.
Visit any Burlington employer, from L3 Wescam, Stresscrete and Jo Brant Hospital to Cogeco and the CUMIS Group, and you’ll find Mohawk alumni.
Even more future ready Mohawk graduates are headed your way. Ready to live and work in Burlington. And ready to help you attract even more high growth, knowledge-based companies.
Like the City of Burlington, Mohawk is ready to grow.
We just launched our latest strategic plan for Mohawk.
Like Burlington’s strategic plan, we’ve set bold and ambitious goals.
Within the next five years, we aim to be the number one college in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for employer satisfaction.
We’ve set our sights on being the number one college in Ontario for graduate employment. Many of our business, health and technology programs already have grad employment rates at 100 per cent. We have students graduating with multiple job offers which warms the hearts of parents everywhere.
A few weeks ago, we hosted a Meet the Employer night for students in our Insurance program. Dozens of employers took part. They had more job offers than students graduating from our program. The demand for graduates is just as high in our Financial Services program.
Along with being number one in employer satisfaction and graduate employment, we aspire to be among the top 10 colleges in Canada for applied research.
We’re currently ranked 17th in Canada.
If you joined us for Burlington Day at our Fennell campus last fall, then you’ll already toured our centres of excellence in applied research.
We have teams of students, graduates, faculty and staff working in three centres that are unique to Ontario:
- An Additive Manufacturing Resource Centre where we create prototypes and metal parts on industrial 3D printers.
- A mobile and electronic health development and innovation centre where the leading edge of health and technology intersect.
- And an Energy Research Centre, specializing in smart grids, microgrids, power quality and distributed generation.
Our applied research teams are working with more than 100 partners from the private, public and non-profit sectors. We’re working with start-ups, small and medium size enterprises, multinational corporations and international NGOs. One of our teams is working with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners to build a vaccination database for health workers in Tanzania.
Another partner who’s closer to home is Burlington-based m-Health Solutions.
m-Health Solutions is an innovative health sciences company. They provide fast, convenient, flexible, and simple arrhythmia monitoring and cardiac diagnosis solutions to physicians and patients.
Electrocardiograms are sent over a wireless network to a cardiac interpreting centre. This provides physicians with near real time monitoring. For patients, this technology can be a life-saver.
Our applied research team worked with m-Health Solutions to build a secure electronic document exchange between their company and primary care clinics.
m-Health Solutions is now working with our additive manufacturing centre to build highly specialized metal parts.
m-Health Solutions is the kind of company we love to work with at Mohawk.
We get to help a growing local company bring an innovative solution to market and compete on the world stage.
We get to help build prosperity and create jobs in our community.
And our students get invaluable experience that transforms them into future ready graduates. They get to hone their technical skills. And they develop their soft skills working with clients and managing projects. They learn to think and act like entrepreneurs.
They are exactly what knowledge-based businesses are looking for. They’re also sought after by cities that want the talent pool to attract high-growth companies.
The work we’re doing in applied research is drawing national and international attention and acclaim. Our mobile and electronic health solutions team is a finalist for a PriceWaterhouseCoopers Vision to Reality Award. This award recognize companies that lead the charge in disrupting and reshaping industries through innovation.
When we talk with our partners in applied research, here are the four things they value most about working with Mohawk.
For start-ups and smaller companies, Mohawk is their research and development department. These companies get full access to equipment and technology that they could never afford on their own. They also tap into the brainpower of our students and faculty.
Our additive manufacturing centre is the first and only one of its kind in Ontario. There are just three centres like it in all of Canada. And it’s just an easy 20 minute drive from Burlington.
Our teams move at the speed of business. We understand the need to be first to market. We don’t talk about what we could do. We just do it. We get it done. And we get it done right.
Our teams connect companies to government funding. Not only do we make the connections, we handle the paperwork.
And Mohawk has a very simple policy when it comes to intellectual property. You own whatever you create with our teams. It’s yours, not ours.
Now applied research is just one of the ways we’re helping to grow Burlington companies.
You can put our students to work through co-op work terms and capstone projects that are embedded into the curriculum of our projects.
Thousands of Mohawk students do co-ops every year. Our college was the first in Canada to offer cooperative education and we remain a leader. Just last week, one of our co-op students won a provincial award for her work at ArcelorMittal Dofasco.
Every company and city is looking to attract top young talent. A co-op is a powerful magnet. And it’s a risk free audition for both you and the student.
We have a team at Mohawk that will make it easy for you to set up value-added co-ops for students in our business and technology programs.
Along with being a leader in co-ops, we’re the largest trainer of apprentices in Ontario. We’re training the next generation of skilled trades people who keep our economy moving. And we’re open to unique partnerships.
Here’s one example. The Walters Group is in the business of creating complex structural steel for commercial and industrial construction projects throughout North America. Walters wanted to get ahead of the growing skills shortage. So we created a unique one-year program where students earn while they learn. They spend part of their week studying at Mohawk and then work paid shifts at Walters. The best students graduate with job offers.
With Sheridan College moving their apprenticeship training programs to Brampton, we’re ready to work with Burlington businesses. Our skilled trades campus is one of the best equipped in the country and it’s just a short drive down the 403.
We can also bring the training to you. We also offer customized corporate training through Mohawk College Enterprise. The City of Burlington is among the many clients of our award-winning Future Ready Leadership program. Audie McCarthy, who’s the president of Mohawk College Enterprise, is with us this morning if you want to find out more about training and development solutions for your workforce.
And I want to highlight one other way that we can help grow Burlington businesses. The Agency at Mohawk’s McKeil School of Business brings together our marketing, advertising, graphic design and public relations students. Under supervision of industry-experienced faculty, our students work on campaigns for start-ups, non-profits and community groups. Every year, we work with about two dozen clients. Our clients get agency-calibre work and our students gain invaluable experience.
We’ve also been talking with the team at Burlington Economic Development.
Another Burlington Day at our Fennell campus is in the works for early 2017.
We’re planning to take our international students on a bus tour and job crawl through Burlington. We currently have 2,000 international students from more than 70 countries. These students bring global perspective to our college. On Thursday, I’ll be announcing Mohawk’s plans for persuading more of our international students to live and work here after they graduate.
And we’re also planning breakfast sessions and lunch and learns for Burlington companies interested in digital health, additive manufacturing, environmental sustainability, logistics and transportation.
Of course, you don’t have to wait. Mohawk is always open for business and ready to partner.
Collaboration and partnerships are a priority in our new strategic plan.
We have more than a thousand partners. Currently many are here in Burlington. We value every partnership.
We want to broaden and deepen collaborations for the benefit of our students, our partners and the communities we serve.
We’ll do that by staying responsive and relevant.
For Burlington companies, that means working together on applied research projects.
Putting our students to work through co-ops, capstone projects and advertising campaigns.
Closing the growing skills gap with Mohawk apprentices and the next generation of skilled tradespeople.
Delivering customized training.
And continuing to transform our students into future-ready Mohawk graduates.
As Canada’s best mid-size city, you’ll attract more than your share of highly skilled Mohawk graduates.
Graduates who will help Burlington businesses grow and attract new companies, new investments and new jobs.
Thank you to all the Burlington companies that are putting our students and graduates to work.
And to the companies that are interested in doing the same, Mohawk is open for business and ready to partner.
We have information available at the back of the room and my team and I would be happy to answer some questions now and after the AGM.