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  • Introducing RAC for Businesses

    by Matt Refghi  |  October 16, 2012

    On September 24th, we officially launched our new RAC services for businesses, including our Applied Business Development (ABD) program. The event was held at Champlain College’s Saint Lambert campus, and was host to more than 50 guests, including numerous business representatives. Among them were some of our partners: the MDEIE, the Pôle d’excellence québécois en transport terrestre, Emploi-Québec, Camo-Route, and CEDEC – all of whom were instrumental in the development and release of the RAC services for businesses. The evening started with introductory addresses by both Don Shewan, Director of the Saint-Lambert campus, and Mark Wallace, Director of Continuing Education. Shewan noted the following:

    “Our Recognition of Acquired Competencies (RAC) process formally recognizes and validates employee work and life experience through a rigorous recognition and training process. We’ve made every effort to render it as accessible as possible to today’s busy business people.”

    He later went on to mention that Champlain College had already invested more than half a million dollars into RAC, and is devoted to its success, growth, and positive influence it has on the community. Wallace announced that since Champlain started offering RAC services in 2009, more than 400 people from a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise had used the RAC services. Isabelle Stébenne then described the specific features of the Applied Business Development program, including an overview of the competencies, and the available evaluation options. She explained that the services were designed with busy people in mind, with offerings such as on-site evaluations and training, as well as a flexible schedule that includes weeknights and weekends. The result? Enhanced employee productivity, competency, and retention with little to no impact on the candidate’s work schedules. The next speaker was Stacey Dakin, who spoke on behalf of CEDEC, the Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation. CEDEC offers support to small businesses across Quebec, and are looking to give their clients a way to acquire official certifications through their workshops, in partnership with RAC. CEDEC also helped develop course content and promote the program throughout the province of Québec. Isabelle Stébenne describes the fundamental principles behind the Applied Business Development program.Stébenne then returned to introduce the specialists who were bringing their expertise to the ABD program, all of whom have backgrounds rooted in real industry experience and academic training. She was soon followed by Geneviève Rock, RAC Coordinator, who highlighted Raymond Patry and Richard Vachon as the official liasons for businesses which are seeking RAC services. Patry and Vachon are both from the industry, and conveyed an understanding of how great the needs were. They mentioned how pleased they were to be working closely with businesses to help them find realistic, compatible solutions. Rock then introduced Anna Maria Zaidman, who is working with companies to support the successful integration of immigrants. The RAC services are designed to address the specific needs of immigrants, and use a combination of training, placement assistance, and mentorship to achieve positive results. By assigning a mentor that is internal to an organization, RAC helps prevent conflicts that originate from a lack of knowledge about cultural differences, thereby increasing retention. Language training is also offered to the candidates that need it, further improving their ability to adapt to the Quebec workplace. Pino Di Ioia expresses his support for the RAC services.Well-known entrepreneur and Champlain College alumni Pino Di Ioia also took the podium to announce his support for the RAC services. Di Ioia is the co-founder of Moozoo® and CEO of BeaverTails®, the latter having a total of 117 stores. In addition to running his businesses, Di Ioia serves as a content specialist for RAC’s ABD program. Jana Sharock then took the stage to describe the Transport and Logistics services offered through RAC for Businesses. She was soon followed by Jean Simard of the Pôle d’excellence québécois en transport terrestre, which, along with the MDEIE’s financing, helped make the RAC services available in Québec. Simard mentioned a growing need for transportation and logistics workers in Québec, particularly with the coming changes to Québec’s autoroute 30. He highlighted the importance of training in the industry, with a specific emphasis on Québec’s industrial climate and needs. Sharock then returned to describe the dispatching services offered to businesses. She explained that the AEC was created to meet a growing need for dispatchers in the industry. The initiative led to a joint-project being created with Camo-Route, and it also resulted in numerous businesses approaching RAC. A key feature of the program involves taking candidates who are already knowledgeable about the industry, training them four days a week, and then having them be mentored by a present dispatcher on the fifth day. Mario Sabourin (of Camo-Route) soon followed, and emphasized Simard’s concerns, as Camo-Route’s surveys revealed that Québec had a shortage of 3,000 transport and logistics workers. A variety of guests were present, including RAC staff, partners, and interested business representatives. Don Shewan and Kenneth J. Robertson, Director General, are both present in this photo. Eric Poehlman wrapped up the presentation by offering a brief introduction to the Information Technology Support Specialist (ITSS) program offered through RAC. He noted the importance of IT skills in the industry and the need to train individuals in this area. He also hinted at future directions, including RAC programs in CISCO and Social Media. Attendees were then invited to a reception party that featured a wide range of cocktails and catered food. The party served as a good networking opportunity, while also allowing guests to find out more about the programs from the content specialists themselves. Don Shewan and Kenneth J. Robertson, Director General, were also in attendance. The launch event was a success, and it also motivated several individuals to register for RAC services immediately following the presentation. If you missed the event, please feel free to step through the presentation and photos, both of which are included below. PowerPoint: Launch Presentation

    Filed under: Applied Business Development, News, RAC for Businesses
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