Earlier this year, the TELUS Edmonton Community Board awarded a grant of $20,000 to NorQuest College. The generous grant will help fund NorQuest’s Innovation Studio, a tech-forward initiative opening this fall in NorQuest’s Heritage Tower.
The Innovation Studio is a collaborative space for students to engage in research and creative projects. “The space brings together NorQuest College’s wide range of expertise and will allow for experimentation in teaching and learning, social innovation, and research projects with community and industry, corporate training, and business development,” a media statement from the college points out. In addition to the grant from TELUS, the Innovation Studio is also funded in part by the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada.
“The TELUS Edmonton Community Board is all about investing in the communities we live and work in,” said Zainul Mawji, vice chair of the TELUS Edmonton Community Board. “NorQuest College’s recent campus expansion is certainly a milestone for Edmonton, and their future redevelopment, including the Innovation Studio, is something we are proud to support.”
The grant is part of TELUS’ ongoing commitment to engaging proactively with, and investing in, the communities it works in. One way the large company does this is to seek out opportunities through TELUS Ventures™. Ventures, an investment branch of the TELUS brand, aims to “partner with disruptive, market-transforming North-American-based companies in early-to-late stage development with a focus on the following areas: healthcare IT, Internet of Things, big data, fintech, and digital security and identity.
Like TELUS, Norquest College is committed to being a strong and productive force in the community, offering programs that align with current and future job needs (based on collaborative interaction with heads of industry to determine those needs in real time) and keeping on the forefront of innovative, social and technological innovations that will enable each student to reach his or her goals.
The TELUS grant for NorQuest College’s Innovation Studio is a gift that will give back to the community many times over, and it comes on the heels of another grant the college received earlier this year. In January, the Edmonton Civic Employees Charitable Assistance Fund (ECECAF) gifted their largest donation in the organization’s 77-year history by giving $2 million to NorQuest College.
ECECAF was founded in 1941 and has more than 11,000 participating members from various unions and associations. Members contribute to the fund from their salary and the money is divided into charitable donations and membership services.
“This is an incredible honour,” says ECECAF board chair, Brenda Waluk. “On behalf of all of our members, we would like to say how proud we are to be part of the spirited and vibrant growth of NorQuest College. Our members are very committed to making a difference in this community. This is a legacy that will live on for many generations.”
Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, president and CEO of NorQuest College, stated, “From 2013 to 2017, we have become a first-choice institution, increasing our student population by 72 per cent, from 10,220 learners to the 17,592 we have today. This incredibly generous gift will allow us to better prepare our learners for tomorrow’s workforce needs.”