You may have already seen Nicole Fontaine at one of the dozens of online and in-person events she’s attended over the past few months.
She’s been making herself known since coming on board recently as the Community Partnership Coordinator at Herzing College Winnipeg.
Nicole focuses on building relationships with organizations who would like to enhance their Teams training skills or collaborate on projects that will make a difference.
She’s passionate about networking and team building, and loves to help Manitobans connect with local resources so they can reach their personal and professional goals.
We sat down with Nicole this week to learn more about how she’s helping to bring organizations and communities together.
Q. Nicole, tell us a bit about your professional background.
Nicole: I spent over seven years at the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, where I held roles such as Information Officer, Liaison Officer, and Business Development Officer.
Before that, I owned and operated a family childcare centre and provided support to nonprofit organizations setting up early learning and childcare facilities.
I’ve served on the board of directors for the Economic Developers Association of Manitoba since 2018.
I’m also an ambassador for the Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce and in their Leadership Winnipeg program, and I will soon be on a board of another organization here in the city.
I enjoy being busy and of service to my community!
Q. What is your role as the Community Partnership Coordinator at Herzing?
Nicole: I’m here to share information about our education and internship opportunities, HOEP program, and PRICE success model.
I discuss organizations' training needs, provide connections when needed, and explore collaboration projects.
I also try to keep on top of grants and information that I can share with our community partners. For instance, the Canada-Manitoba Job Grant had stopped for a little while and now it’s just been reactivated, so that’ll be something that I’ll be following up with our community partners.
My network is quite vast, so I’m able to provide valuable connections to local resources and opportunities.
That’s really what makes me happy. If someone shares a challenge, I think about how I can help. Just yesterday I was on a call and asked this person if they knew of a particular organization. They said no, I don’t. I then shared that I could e-introduce them to that organization.
They were very pleased to hear that possibly another organization may be able to assist them with their challenge.
Q. What is the PRICE success model?
Nicole: I love that Herzing College Winnipeg lives by the PRICE success model. PRICE stands for Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Caring, and Engagement.
These key qualities are meant to guide all of us—students, instructors, and community. It creates an amazing culture that makes our world a better place to live.
Q. How do organizations benefit from partnering with Herzing?
Nicole: For one thing, they can request to host one of our interns. It’s a great opportunity to fill employment gaps and develop a pipeline of talent, and there’s no cost to the employer.
I always ask our partners if there’s anything they’re working on that we could help with. We’ll discuss their needs, work with them to develop customized training, and/or connect them with another community partner or resource that can help them reach their goal.
One of the biggest benefits is our Community Partner Scholarship. A community partner can refer anyone in their network that’s interested in a diploma program at Herzing College Winnipeg.
If the individual goes through the whole process and qualifies for the diploma program, they receive a $1,000 scholarship toward the diploma of their choice.
Community partners also receive a 20 per cent discount on online certificates or individual courses through our Kompass Professional Development division.
Our door is always open to discuss great community initiatives and we love to collaborate.
As you can see, there are a lot of benefits to being a community partner.
Q. What kinds of organizations do you engage with?
Nicole: It ranges from charities and not-for-profits to small and large businesses.
For example, we just finished a project with a national charity called the Prince's Trust Canada. They create programs/opportunities to help young people and veterans engage in work and market themselves. They have a strong commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability.
We co-hosted an interactive program with them that consisted of three half days in March. We offered some pre-employment skills, discussed our diploma options, and demystified the post-secondary process. We also had some inspirational speakers and talked about values and ethics.
The Discover Your Value program was a success and we are looking forward to offering a hybrid model (in-person/virtual) in June.
We have worked a lot with organizations working with adults thinking about going back to school or training for a new career.
We’ve also collaborated and offered informative webinars with groups like the World Trade Centre Winnipeg, Supply Chain Canada, the Manitoba Child-Care Association, and the Canadian Mental Health Association. These were wonderful initiatives to help their members and clients.
Q. How does an organization become a community partner?
Nicole: All they need to do is reach out to me to set up an appointment. I look forward to learning more about them and discussing their challenges and needs.
Whether they’re looking to host an intern, develop training, collaborate on a community initiative, or share a job posting with our students and alumni, I’m here to help!
ARE YOU LOOKING TO CONNECT?
Email or call Nicole directly at (204) 813-9677 to start the conversation.