Trent University’s Careerspace, in partnership with the City of Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED), has been awarded the Community Collaboration Award from the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) for its innovative Community Concierge program for recent graduates.
“The Community Concierge project is a testament to our dedication to empowering graduates and connecting them with rewarding local employment opportunities,” shared Kevin Whitmore, director of Careerspace at Trent University. “The success of the program not only showcases the commitment to nurturing local talent but also its potential to have a lasting impact on the region's economic development. It's a win-win for our students and the region.”
Initiated in 2021 through a collaboration between the three organizations, and funded through the Skills Development Fund, the Community Concierge program aimed to retain highly skilled Trent graduates in the region by connecting them with local employment opportunities.
The award recognizes exceptional collaborative initiatives between organizations aimed at fostering economic development and community well-being in Canada.
Connecting graduates with opportunities
In its first year, the Community Concierge program surpassed expectations, with 70 graduates securing local employment, 70 partnership agreements created with local employers, and 3,700 work-integrated learning opportunities identified over the next five years.
The EDAC award underscores the project's achievements in building partnerships between the University and local employers, facilitating graduate employment in the region, and establishing a robust pipeline of Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placements. These efforts substantially enhance student-employer engagement and offer a sustainable approach to retaining local graduate talent.