Recognized as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Feb 12, 2019)
Here are some of the reasons why Southeast College was selected as one of Saskatchewan's Top Employers (2019):
- Southeast College supports its new moms and dads (including adoptive parents) with maternity and parental leave top-up payments (to 95% of salary for 15 weeks) and offers the convenience of onsite daycare when they're ready to return to work
- Southeast College provides new employees 3 weeks of starting vacation allowances as well as up to 5 paid personal days off each year
Southeast College stays tuned to its community
When a gas pipeline was routed through Carry the Kettle First Nation in Saskatchewan, band leaders contacted Southeast College about training some of their young people to work on the new project.
Instead of bringing the students 35 km to Southeast's campus at Indian Head, the college sent instructors to the First Nation.
"About 120 students went through the program," says Larry Heggs, business & program development consultant, "and about 75 per cent of them will remain with the company when the pipeline's done."
Such responsiveness distinguishes Southeast College from more conventional post-secondary institutions. "I don't think anybody is as attuned as we are to the community," says Heggs.
With six campuses training more than 5,000 students a year, the 44-year-old college serves more than 70 cities, towns and First Nations in southeast Saskatchewan. It delivers a variety of programs, from grain marketing to suicide prevention to portrait photography, that meet the educational and labour demands of the region. It also offers university, technology and trades, health care, business, safety, and industrial training in response to specific requirements of local industries.
We encourage our staff to think outside the box," says president & CEO Dion McGrath, "not only with new programming ideas but also with new ways to create efficiencies."
Like the pipeline program delivered to Carry the Kettle First Nation, Southeast's curriculum reflects the immediate needs of its constituents. "The business sector says, we'd like a course in leadership or mental health," says Heggs. "Then we set out to develop and deliver it."
Located in the heartland of Saskatchewan's oil industry, Southeast recently adopted an international program in oil-well control that had previously been available only in Edmonton, 800 km away.
"People in the industry here said, why do we have to send our guys all that way?" Heggs says. "Why can't we do it here? The college responded by identifying programming options and new partners."
Based in Weyburn, McGrath takes a similarly responsive approach to his relationships with his staff. When a new employee joins the college, he takes the individual to lunch. Once a month, he fields open questions from staff from all six Southeast locations.
"I want people to have a clear understanding of our goals and how they contribute to our success," he says. "Most of our resources are invested in people, so it's important to create an environment for people to have fun, be innovative and succeed."