Durham College (DC) announced today that it has won a prestigious Whitby Chamber of Commerce 2016 Business Achievement Award in the category of Business Achievement (50+ employees). The awards were presented on November 17 at a gala held at the Deer Creek Golf & Banquet Facility.
“On behalf of everyone at DC, I’d like to thank the Whitby Chamber of Commerce for this 2016 Business Achievement Award, which recognizes the college as a valued member of the business community and contributor to the growth of Whitby and Durham Region,” said Don Lovisa, president, DC. “To be acknowledged by our peers in this way is a testament to the tireless work of our employees to enhance the business community through initiatives such as partnerships, program expansion, research and innovation, and creating a healthy workplace.”
The Peter Perry & Business Achievement Awards are held each year to recognize the success and outstanding contributions of companies and individuals within the Whitby Chamber of Commerce membership. Winners are honoured for their excellence in one or more of the following areas of operation: enhancement to the broader business community; business development and company growth; strategic alliances and partnerships; community relations; product or service advancement; brand profile and reputation; marketing/branding innovation; and healthy workplace.
Over the past six years, DC has invested more than $45 million at the Whitby campus to further its evolution into a community hub focused on innovative learning, skilled trades and applied research, highlights of which include:
- The addition of new skilled trades programs, including Mechanical Technician – Elevating Devices that will launch in January 2017.
- The ongoing development of cold-frame technology by faculty and student researchers, making it possible to grow fresh, local produce year-round by harnessing the sun’s energy and redirecting it to support growth on cold days. Cold-frame technology uses framed boxes built from cedar wood that have special insulation and triple polycarbonate glass on top. Filled with sand, the boxes direct heat collected from the sun to stimulate growth.
- The W. Galen Weston Centre for Food (CFF). The CFF is focused on the sustainable field-to-fork concept, as supported by its ambassador, celebrity chef Jamie Kennedy. Home to a range of complementary programs in baking, culinary, food and farming, horticulture, hospitality, and event management, the CFF boasts numerous sustainable features and extensive grounds that include an apple orchard, agricultural planting fields, gardens, hoop house and greenhouses that support applied learning and research while growing produce for use in the CFF’s kitchens and laboratories, as well as Bistro ’67 and Pantry.
In addition, DC has established a strong relationship with Habitat for Humanity, a partnership that enables students from the college’s Construction Carpentry – Sustainable program to gain hands-on experience outside of the classroom while providing a way for DC to give back to our community with students and employees assisting with the construction of four homes for families in need.
DC was also a driving force behind the inaugural Idea Summit, held at the CFF in May 2016. The event brought together business leaders and employees from some of Durham Region’s largest employers, who discussed how to promote the region and the development of a set of recommendations to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. The summit saw the creation of several task forces that are currently working to develop recommendations on how governments at all levels can support the region and its highly-educated and motivated work force.
“DC remains a strong, vibrant presence in Durham Region, and Whitby in particular, where the expansion of our campus has mirrored the community’s growth,” added Lovisa. “This growth and leadership has resulted in more opportunities than ever for our students, and supports the social and economic health of our communities. We look forward to continuing to work with the Whitby business community, including the Whitby Chamber of Commerce, to advance initiatives for the betterment of our community.”