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McBride and SAIT

McBride builds futures in partnership with SAIT

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“We help Albertans enter the workforce. Partnering with SAIT allows us to provide the skills that employers need.”

Shannon Mervold, Chief Operating Officer, McBride Career Group Inc.

About McBride

For close to 30 years, McBride Career Group Inc. has been training and placing Albertans in the workforce. They work with unemployed individuals interested in pursuing a new career, as well as employers looking to recruit. They also partner with organizations such as the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology to train workers to be job-ready with tangible and practical trades skills. McBride and SAIT have been active partners in education and employability for 20 years.

How do McBride and SAIT work together?

The training model is designed to give learners a comprehensive package of skills for entering the workforce. McBride teaches communications, customer service and focuses on a candidate’s employability. SAIT then offers the technical education to perform well in a construction-related job.

A partnership born of necessity

One of the mandates of the Government of Alberta is to reduce unemployment in the province. One way they achieve this is by funding the work done by McBride and SAIT to ready people for in-demand jobs. Throughout the 20-year partnership, McBride and SAIT have evolved how they recruit, train and support program participants.

Measure twice – even three times

“Our goal is to help people find employment,” says Shannon Mervold, Chief Operating Officer at McBride (alongside her COO job-share partner, Tracy Jensen). “We aim to employ 70% of participants in the program, so we measure progress several times. First, have they completed the 14-week program? Second, did they secure a job? Then we check in at three months and again at six months. If they’re still employed at that time, we have been successful in selecting, training and placing that individual.”

Time well spent

Tempting as it might be to fill classes as quickly as possible, McBride and SAIT invest time recruiting and screening candidates for their programs. Patricia Garner is a program coordinator at McBride. She says being up front with participants is an essential element in success. “We hold information sessions for people who might be interested. We give them the good, the bad and the ugly about the program, the industry and the prospects for employment. We like to be frank — this isn’t a sales job, but a chance to really understand the opportunity before them. We’ve gotten very good at identifying those people who will be successful.”

Grads meet the needs of employers

Amber Cawood is the HR Manager at McCrum’s Office Furnishings in Calgary. Cawood says the McBride/SAIT partnership provides the workers they require in their delivery and installation department. “Grads bring a sense of customer focus with them from this program,” says Cawood. “They are taught to do the job correctly and speed will follow. This fits very well with our customer focus.” Since December 2015, McCrum’s has welcomed 12 program participants for work experience placements and hired six as permanent employees.

Graduate experience: a perfect program

Ahmad Jamali went to McBride in search of a job. There he learned about the program partnership with SAIT. He filled out an application, answered some questions and was accepted.

“This was perfect for me,” says Jamali. “We had training on computers, communication in the workplace and so on at McBride. Then we spent 12 weeks at SAIT learning carpentry, dry walling and framing. I learned a lot, including Canadian work culture and how to ask questions.”

Jamali was at McCrum’s during his work experience placement and was hired there as soon as he graduated.

Learn more about training and partnership opportunities with SAIT

SAIT Corporate Training

Tel: 403.210.5757

Toll-Free: 1.866.884.7117

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Applied Research

Tel: 403.284.7056

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