Recognized as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017)
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Mar 21, 2017)
Here are some of the reasons why NAIT / Northern Alberta Institute of Technology was selected as one of Alberta's Top Employers (2017):
- NAIT employees working on campus can take advantage of many onsite amenities including a quiet room for meditation or religious observance, multiple indoor lounges which may feature television, video games, pool tables or table tennis, and a state-of-the-art fitness facility complete with basketball, squash and racquetball courts, a climbing wall, an indoor running track and a sauna
- NAIT provides maternity leave top-up payments for employees who are new mothers (up to 95% of salary for up to 16 weeks) and offers a number of flexible work options when they are ready to return
- NAIT encourages employees to lead healthy, active lives, offering health and wellness spending accounts and monthly staff wellness sessions on a variety of topics including healthy eating, relationships and mindfulness
NAIT delivers on a broad set of promises
Like many instructors at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), Teresa Sturgess had a wealth of industry experience before entering the classroom 14 years ago.
With NAIT's full encouragement, Sturgess kept those industry connections and made them an integral part of her marketing classes. For example, students will work directly on projects inspired (and partly evaluated) by local advertising agencies or public relations firms.
It's all part of the practical, hands-on instruction that has made NAIT a leader in polytechnic education in the areas of science, technology and the environment, business, health and trades.
"A lot of the firms I bring into the classroom are ones our students aspire to work for," says Sturgess, herself a NAIT graduate (class of 1983). "Our courses give them a clear sense of what that career might look like as well as the skills needed to succeed."
NAIT's workplace culture is firmly rooted in its values - including respect, collaboration, accountability, support and celebration.
"People feel very comfortable working here because we really do live our values," says Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT's President and CEO. "They understand that we are making a difference, both individually and collectively."
What makes NAIT unique, adds Feltham, is a set of defined promises that drive everything it does.
"Our promise to our province is that we will meet Alberta's current and emerging needs for polytechnic education and applied research," he says. "We promise industry that our graduates will have an immediate impact on the workforce. We promise our students that we will provide them with the foundation for an outstanding career. And we promise our staff that we will be an outstanding employer and we will live our values."
Sturgess has benefited from that supportive and collaborative environment. NAIT provided financial support and education leaves as she completed her Master of Arts degree online. She also appreciates the ability to collaborate with fellow instructors across several disciplines.
"What's really cool is that I don't have to go up the chain of command for that," she says. "I can just call a colleague. If it encourages innovation and makes sense for our students, why wouldn't we try that?"
Best of all, says Sturgess, is seeing students grow and thrive. "Our students are at such an interesting time as they try to figure out what they are going to do with their lives. It's incredibly rewarding to help them see what lights their fires."