Message from Kristine Dawson, President of CEWIL

Dear CEWIL Members,

Now that we have made it through the start of the fall semester, and we are nearing our Annual General Meeting next week, I wanted to take one of my last opportunities to communicate with the CEWIL membership in the capacity of your President.  You will have received our Annual Report this week, which serves as a reference point of the great accomplishments of our association. I hope that you will take a few moments to review the Committee reports, which summarize just a few of our many activities over the last year.

Since the expansion of our mandate in 2017, CEWIL has continued its explosive growth, more than doubling membership over the last two years. Given the heightened interest and investment in work-integrated learning, and the many changes our association was both embarking on and facing in the current environment, the National Board undertook a strategic planning exercise and a three year business planning process over the last year.

We have engaged in strategic conversations with partners and vendors in this space, effectively managed our association's resources, as well as launched a newly designed and branded website. CEWIL honoured students who participated in all forms of work-integrated learning this year in our expanded Co-op and WIL week. We partnered to offer an important PD and Symposium with our colleagues in EWO this past June in Ottawa, and hosted our Third National Conversation on Work-Integrated Learning with key stakeholders across the country.  We continue to work closely with many colleagues in our federal and provincial governments and have been invited to share our expertise in numerous consultations. CEWIL even signed a Global Charter on Work-Integrated Education this summer at the World Association for Co-op and Work-Integrated Education (WACE) conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Over the past year CEWIL also began a business relationship with a new Association Management Company, Redstone Agency. We are pleased to be working with this new team to support the continued progression of our association. Additionally, due to the generosity of the RBC Foundation’s Future Launch program, CEWIL has been able to fund the creation of a WIL Resource Hub. While I have listed just a few of our many accomplishments for the past year, please know that there were many more. Whether it be research, professional development or other capacity building in our space, thank you to all you who work so hard to support students and employers as well as each other.

We have an active and engaged membership base participating in our many committees, however, the pace of activity and interest in work-integrated learning continues to make our work critical in its support of Canada’s talent and skills agenda. We are always seeking new members to infuse their excitement and expertise into the work of our association, so, especially for our many new members, I would encourage you to consider volunteering and lending your expertise, particularly in the breadth of WIL experiences we are now supporting.

I wish each of you the best as we continue on this exciting journey together. It has been my privilege and honour to serve as your President this past year, best regards for the year ahead.

Kristine Dawson
CEWIL President 2018/19