Fostering diversity in the workplace.
In 1994, while attending a Business Information Program at NSCC, Cathie O’Toole was inspired by a great teacher to pursue accounting – a path that would later launch her into the business world.
Cathie now leads Halifax Water. Since 2008, Halifax Water has partnered with NSCC to offer bursaries that encourage diversity in the talent pool and help students both financially and with preparing for the workforce. "Our scholarships are targeted at different diverse or underemployed groups," Cathie says. “In addition to offering five awards annually, we also try to give the students a work term so they can gain some work experience that will hopefully launch them into a successful career."
On an annual basis, Halifax water has between 40 to 60 summer student jobs, co-op jobs, or work terms helping local students gain experience. Cathie estimates that nearly 100 of the commission's 500 employees are graduates of a Nova Scotia Community College program.
For Cathie, choosing to support students and NSCC’s work in the community was an easy call. “NSCC is setting a standard as an organization with a welcoming culture, a diverse workforce, and a civil, respectful workplace that is representative of the community that we serve,” Cathie says. “I support NSCC because I want to see students be successful, be role models for others, and selfishly, I want to see them want to come and work at Halifax Water.”
Awards and bursaries offered by Halifax Water to NSCC students every year include; The Robert T. Peacock Achievement Award, the Jipuktuk etli apatua'timk Award; the Halifax Water Achievement Award; the Arnold D. Johnson Sr. Award for Water Resources, and the Women in Non-Traditional Careers Award.
For more information about Halifax Water, please visit www.halifaxwater.ca