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Leveraging Value from your Academic Neighbours

By Devin Kreuger

Mississauga is home to world-class educational institutions. Are you taking full advantage of the resources they offer?

I’ve written previously about how local businesses can access students looking for experiential learning experiences through co-op placements, internships, and volunteer opportunities. Yet this is just the tip of the iceberg of the potential value-added benefits of higher-education institutions.

Research has proven that life-long learning contributes to positive mental health, improved career opportunities, and expanded social networks. So why not enroll in a Continuing Studies class? Be it Photography, Business accounting, or maybe Spanish, I’m confident you’ll find a class that piques your interest or that would broaden or sharpen your skills. Exploring the range of continuing education classes and certificate programs that are available may inspire you to learn something new. And, you may also stumble upon a class or two that would be of benefit to your employees.

Speaking of employees, colleges and universities offer excellent mechanisms to recruit the best and brightest local talent through job fairs and recruitment postings in their ‘Career Services’ offices. Establishing a relationship with these offices may also lead to further opportunities, for many Career Services offices run programs aimed at facilitating mentoring and networking for their students. Being at the top of their list of local employers will put your business front and centre in the minds of imminent and recent graduates, and will open doors to further collaborations with Career Services.

One additional hidden gem offered by your local college or university is ‘space’. Tired of hosting all your sales meetings at a hotel? Looking for a cool space to hold an ‘out-of-office’ retreat? Educational institutions offer spaces, often with cutting edge technology, that just might suit your needs, be it for an afternoon meeting or a week-long conference during the summer months. The next time you’re about to call a hotel to book space, consider also giving your local institution’s ‘Conference Services’ office a call.

Mississauga’s higher education institutions offer the region a tremendous competitive advantage on the national and international scale, and have an obvious impact on the local community. Savvy business leaders are taking advantage of the resources these institutions offer, give some thought to how you might leverage your academic neighbours too.

Devin Kreuger is Director of the Office of the Vice-Principal Research at the University of Toronto Mississauga. He can be contacted at [email protected] Visit www.utm.utoronto.ca/research

Best practices, Business Learning, Human Resources, Training and development, Uncategorized Tagged with: , , , ,
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