- September 15, 2009 - CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care continues to produce strong graduates with excellent job skills, who in turn service great Winnipeg employers. This partnership between graduates, employers and college has resulted in over 1600 students becoming employed members of the workforce in the last 10 years.
Tahl East, Director of CDI College, Winnipeg Campus, credits this with strong programs which are employer focused, excellent instructors and an effective Employment Services Department.
“Our students receive not only the job related skills necessary to do the job but they also receive the training in a combination of professional skills, customer service training and job seeking / career planning skills.”
Even in challenging times, in 2008 CDI College Winnipeg successfully was responsible for the hiring of 91.3 % of graduates in their respective fields. This is an increase of over 2% from 2007. CDI graduates in diploma programs such as Network Administration, Addictions and Community Service and Legal Administrative Assistant had averages significantly higher.
Part of the success, says Craig Johnson who is the Employment Specialist, is due to the strong educational curriculum, the professional and capable instructors, but other factors include the quality of the student and their success in developing professional and job related skills.
“Many of our students come to our college with work experience in other fields. The vast majority of our students are of all ages and bring to the table strong professional skills through work in customer service, background in the call centre industry or through the hospitality sector. They may be of any age or background but they bring a strong work ethic and workplace experience,” Johnson said.
“Our students learn about employer needs from day one,” East said, “We provide a strong education in not only learning to be a successful student but we also highlight employer needs throughout each program and focus on our graduates being successful in their new career.”
CDI College has strong representation in the business community through the Provincial and City Chamber of Commerce, Manitoba Customer Contact Centre Association, the Manitoba Dental Assisting Association, Downtown Biz and other organizations.
“We have strong employer contact,” Johnson said, “We have a strong network with different sectors and also with many individual employers.
“We stay current,” Johnson added, “We set up employer advisory councils who review existing and new program proposals and give us feedback. We take their suggestions and include them to tailor our programs to the needs of our employers. Our goal is to stay current in changing times while meeting the needs today and anticipating future industry demands.”
Part of this is due to the training in Professional Skills, a course built into each program which focuses on delivering real team work skills, communication skills as well as resume training.
“We focus on making sure that our graduates bring many of the soft skills to the table through
Professional Skills as well as additional training in conflict management, personality awareness and customer service,” Johnson said.
CDI College also provides a job search training course inside each program for all students. This program focuses on two major objectives: interview skills and marketing techniques.
“Believe it or not, but 85-90% of job openings never make it to the websites or newspapers.” Johnson advised, “This is the hidden job market. Our success is partly due to teaching our students to learn how to mine the hidden job market successfully.”
“We focus on learning all different types of interview questions to plan truthful and effective responses. Our goal is to have our graduate be the employer’s first choice after an interview.” Johnson said, adding that there is a job suited for almost everyone. “Part of the job search is for the new graduate to find the right fit which is best for them. Before leaving CDI College graduates learn how to prepare effective cover letters and other professional marketing tools.”
“Anyone is able to copy a template,” Johnson said, “However employers are able to figure that out right away.” CDI graduates are trained in preparing cover letters that are tailored to the position as well as learning how to put together strong thank you letters and reference sheets. Meeting employer expectations and being the right candidate is a challenge in today’s changing workplace. “
“We need to make sure that our graduates learn how to present themselves effectively as well as develop strong communication skills to be more effective in their daily routine.” East said, noting that past CDI graduates sometimes contact the college years later, when they are managers or supervisors, wanting to hire new graduates.”
Depending on their new profession, CDI graduates are very well represented in the Winnipeg community. “In the average person’s daily routine, it is possible that your medical or legal administrative assistant is a CDI graduate. If you go to a dentist, your dental assistant is probably going to be a CDI graduate. The person who prepares your payroll or works in accounts payable/ receivable could be a CDI graduate.” East said. “Even the person who last helped you with your computer is a CDI graduate.”
“We are represented in hospitals, in different provincial government department. Our graduates are employed in the corporations both large and small as well as local businesses.” Johnson said, “We have a great college and our graduates are the product of mixing strong students with great training by excellent instructors and providing them with the job seeking tools to get hired and promoted.”
For more information on the programs at CDI College, visit http://www.cdicollege.ca