Community Connections With Northwest Community College

Northwest Community College (NWCC) prides itself on its strong ties to our communities. With eight different campuses that reach 34 different communities, we feel it is our responsibility to enrich the lives of those we touch.

That is why NWCC continually looks to foster new and creative partnerships to help improve communities and expose our students to experiences that cultivate compassionate, empathetic and altruistic graduates.

In August of last year, NWCC reached out to Ksan Society in Terrace to express interest building on the admirable services they provide. Since 1979 Ksan Society has been providing community programs and outreach to those in need in Terrace and the surrounding area. Programming includes: public education; social programs; safe shelter, food and essentials to the homeless, or otherwise disadvantaged.

Kelly Swain, NWCC Director of Trades, Workforce Training and Contract Services, was part of the team responsible for assembling this partnership.

“It originally began out of a necessity for space… because our kitchen [in the cafeteria] was under renovation,” said Kelly. “The partnership grew organically from this initial use, as NWCC staff and students saw an opportunity to contribute to the community as a whole.”

Since August, the College has set up numerous events and projects with Ksan. One is a community luncheon, where the Professional Cook students help prepare and serve meals to the hungry. These events happen at least once a month at Ksan and can draw crowds of anywhere from 50 to 160 people.

“We could see the value of the College coming in,” said Peggy. “It was our understanding that NWCC wanted to get more involved in the community and Ksan was a perfect fit because we were desperately needing involvement.”

NWCC also brought its Intro to Trades program to Ksan to help renovate some of their facilities. It was a mutually beneficial partnership, as the students got hands-on, real-world experience and Ksan benefits from the refurbished space.

“I couldn’t believe the quality of work,” said Peggy. “For people who had little to no experience, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was blown away.”

Peggy is thrilled with the way this partnership has unfolded and has big ideas for future endeavours with NWCC. She is currently looking into funding grants so other trades programs like carpentry and electrical can get involved. There are lots of opportunities to expand their facilities.

“[Ksan] may be an old building,” said Peggy, “But I have big dreams for it.”

Original content from: Northwest Community College

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