The Gordie Howe International Bridge project team continues to receive accolades for learning opportunities provided to students.
Windsor-Detroit Bridge Authority (WDBA) has been recognized with the 2020 Co-op/Internship Employer of the Year honour from the University of Windsor. It’s the third year in a row that WDBA has received the award which recognizes organizations who have a long-standing partnership with the co-op office, have hired more than ten students throughout 2020, are actively engaged with on-campus activities to the benefit of student learning and have created exceptional work term experiences throughout the year.
Bryce Phillips, WDBA’s CEO, is impressed by the high-calibre of work that the students do during their co-op term and the effort that WDBA mentors put forth to ensure that students have an incomparable learning experience.
“Students are valued members of the WDBA team. Working alongside our talented staff, students receive a practical work experience that allows them to discover new strengths and skills and prepare them for their careers. Our employees who work closely with the students are to be congratulated for their efforts in helping shape the next generation,” says Phillips.
Since WDBA’s co-op program began in 2016, more than 135 placements have been offered to students from four post-secondary schools. The students come from several different faculties and programs including Engineering, Information Technology, Computer Science and Business Administration.
In 2020, WDBA hired 35 students from the University of Windsor, the second highest number of any employer. WDBA was also the university’s top ranked employer for hiring the greatest number of students from across all internship disciplines.
Bridging North America (BNA), WDBA’s private-sector partner, was also honoured by the University of Windsor with the New Employer/Internship Employer Partner award. BNA hired more than ten engineering students in 2020 to work on this once-in-a-generation infrastructure project.
Aaron Epstein, CEO of Bridging North America, is proud of BNA’s efforts to prioritize the professional development opportunities for students who are exploring a career in construction and engineering.
“We appreciate the recognition of by the University of Windsor and look forward to our ongoing partnership with them over the years to come,” says Epstein.
Despite the challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, WDBA and BNA continued with their co-op and internship programs and provided students with the necessary equipment to work remotely and to stay in touch with their mentors.
Placements contributing to the Gordie Howe International Bridge project provide students with essential workplace skills and help them to make decisions about their education and career path, supporting a successful transition into the job market.
Case in point - one of WDBA’s former co-op students, Kiefer Wright, changed faculties following his placement with WDBA and ultimately was successful in competing for a full-time job at WDBA after graduation.