Former Airdrie mayor takes job at Bow Valley College
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Aug 22, 2013 10:03 am
Former Airdrie mayor Linda Bruce will not be running in October’s municipal election as she recently accepted a job at Bow Valley College as a local representative to oversee the school’s regional stewardship program.
Bow Valley College is Alberta’s largest community college and also boasts the largest population of people graduating with a PhD.
Despite her credentials as former mayor and executive director with Creative Airdrie, Bruce wasn’t handed the job and went through the application and interview process along with a few others.
“Like many of the other applicants, I was told about the opening by a friend who suggested that I apply,” said Bruce. “I went through the interview process and was offered the position.”
The job is full-time and as a result Bruce has had to step away from her duties as executive director with Creative Airdrie, though she will remain a member of the board.
“It would’ve been just way too much for me to try to do both,” said Bruce. “I wanted to stay on with Creative Airdrie in some form though because it is something that is very near and dear to me.”
As coordinator for the college’s regional stewardship program, Bruce’s role will be to elevate the profile of the college within Airdrie and implement programs that will cater to the community’s businesses.
Bow Valley College offers a variety of ways to take courses, whether in class or online, in order to suit the schedules of adult learners who have to juggle both work and education.
While post-secondary education can often be classified as an avenue for the younger generations or those looking to start a career, Bruce says that there is a great number of adults who are seeking either a career change or to upgrade their skills to advance within their current place of employment.
The rate at which Airdrie is growing and expanding, according to Bruce, is a big reason why Bow Valley College needs to be promoted within the community in order to grow the business community and fill jobs that require post-secondary education.
“We have a large influx of people coming to Airdrie from out of the country whose education may not translate here,” said Bruce. “We will offer skill upgrades that will enable us to tap in to the great skills that these people are bringing with them.”
Casting a wide net and attracting people with a variety of skills is just one of the items on Bruce’s to-do list; she will also be working with the city’s business community in order to gain a clear understanding of what their needs are and how to cater to them.
She will be conducting local research into the education and training needs of employers, employed workers and individuals to facilitate the needs of the community as well as managing the local campus operations.
“It’s about recognizing what the (business) community wants and understanding what they need so that we can build our programming around that,” Bruce said.
With six years of mayoral experience and nine years prior as a member of City council, Bruce’s knowledge of the community should prove to be a valuable asset to Bow Valley College.
“Linda is a welcome addition to the Bow Valley College community,” said Sharon Carry, President and CEO of the college.
“With many years in the public service and non-profit sectors, Linda’s experience aligns well with our vision here at the college.”