by Owen Fitzgerald, Ex. Director, UEBO

(L-R) Owen Fitzgerald, receiving the award from Tom Gunn, principal of Strait Campus, NSCC.

Port Hawkesbury, NS, May 30, 2012 – The Strait Campus of the Nova Scotia Community college held its Student Success Awards ceremony Wednesday evening in Port Hawkesbury. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Community Partnership award to the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office in Membertou. Owen Fitzgerald, the Executive Director of the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office accepted the award on behalf of the economic benefits office.

“Each year we recognize that student success relies on strong partnerships in our communities.  Community and industry partners offer our students support through class visits, awards, financial support, and work experience.  In appreciation of this support, we offer one organization an appreciation award in recognition of our gratitude,” said Tom Gunn, principal of the Strait Campus. This year, several agencies, businesses, individuals and industries were nominated so it was a tough decision. “We are pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Community Partner Appreciation Award is the Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office,” said Gunn.

Unama’ki is the Mi’kmaq word for Cape Breton Island. The five Cape Breton Mi’kmaq communities have formed a unique economic partnership and established a collaborative approach to economic development that is becoming recognized across Canada. They recognized the importance of solid training, taking a business approach to pursuing economic opportunities, and the importance of partnering with business and governments. The Unama’ki Economic Benefits Office has worked closely with the NSCC Strait Area Campus in the past number of years to help many First Nations students acquire education, training and employment. The Strait Campus has more than 700 students in 33 programs.

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