Each year Portage College has a full day dedicated to welcoming faculty and staff to the new academic year. It is an opportunity to bring all the new and returning staff and faculty together to let them know that they are valued members of the Portage family.
Presentations by College leadership included Portage College’s Strategies, plans and goals for the next 5 years as well as updates from the President’s Indigenous Advisory Group. Along with overall College messages, there were appreciation awards, and wellness activities. For example, over the lunch hour, comedian Kate Davis presenting on how to balance life with humour.
There were also very serious discussions to help our employees prepare their thinking for the observance of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This included presentations about Canadian residential schools as well as conversations on culture and truth and reconciliation.
An overview of the efforts of the President’s Indigenous Advisory Committee (PIAC) was also a focus. These efforts are central to the College’s Strategy 2025 which is our strategic plan aligned with the Alberta Government’s Alberta 2030. The plan from PIAC titled Our Voyage of Togetherness includes advocacy throughout the College for incorporating the following efforts:
The College also welcomed Premier Jason Kenney to answer questions related to the College’s Strategic Plans.
Premier of Alberta, Jason Kenney also joined in on the day to answer questions from the College’s Board Chair, Randy Benson. Premier Kenney spoke with Benson and Nancy Broadbent, President and CEO of Portage College along with over 140 staff members virtually on Sept 17 for about 20 minutes. Following Kenney’s introduction, Benson asked two questions for the Premier that related to Portage College’s unique learners in rural settings. Premier Kenney was very supportive and had positive outlooks for the College’s initiatives with increasing access to innovative facilities as well as incentivizing post-secondary providers and K-12 schools to work together as a system.
“The Welcome Back day gives staff and faculty a chance to connect and reconnect and a chance to celebrate achievements with our employees.” Said Carrie Froehler, Vice President of People, Planning and Public Relations at Portage College.
This was the second Staff Welcome Back to be hosted as a virtual event due to COVID restrictions in place.
President and CEO of Portage College, Nancy Broadbent commented on the importance of the Welcome Back day. “It is so critical in these times to have a sense of connection and appreciation. Our goal is for our employees to feel appreciated and to have time to reflect on our purpose within our communities and for our students. It is these moments where we can be reminded of how important our role is in continuing to create opportunities for people in our region and to help employees connect to our commitments as an organization.”
Portage College, Corporate Communications Manager