ST. JOHN’S, NL –
The fundamental values of College of the North Atlantic (CNA) and the YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador (YMCA NL) share a common thread – they both provide programs and services for their patrons to grow, learn and thrive.
This is why the signing of a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations is a perfect fit. This agreement has been several years in the making, and now plans are set in motion to support and contribute to the social, emotional, mental, and physical well-being of CNA students and alumni via YMCA NL programs and services.
By combining efforts, CNA and the YMCA NL will collaborate on training, innovation, student engagement, applied research, as well as community and economic development. More specifically, they both share interests in pursuing best practices in areas, such as: entrepreneurial development and support for CNA students and alumni, rural areas, as well as newcomer and Indigenous groups; employment programming and support; resume writing, career development and job-search supports; newcomer community integration; and, accessible lifelong learning initiatives to name a few. The customization of YMCA programs and services for CNA students and alumni will help achieve these objectives.
Liz Kidd, CNA President and CEO, says today’s students and graduates require much more than just an education involving books and classrooms. There also needs to be support for physical and mental health and wellness, as well as childcare for students with families, programs to support international students, and developing equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“CNA has a wonderful opportunity here to be involved with an organization like the YMCA NL that exudes all the things that we, as a post-secondary training institution, believe in,” said Kidd. “This agreement is more than just about going to the pool and gym. We know our students and graduates are getting ready to embark on exciting careers once they graduate, but they are also going to have families, contribute to their communities, and be our future leaders. In order to achieve that and do it well, there need to be other supports for them on emotional and physical levels. We can’t wait to see the benefits of this partnership for our students and alumni.”
YMCA NL, with an online portal, hundreds of points of program delivery and branches in St. John’s, Marystown and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, is a charitable organization that is dedicated to strengthening the foundations of the communities it serves, promoting healthy living and nurturing social responsibility. CNA’s commitment to the same goal is achieved by fostering the industrial and training needs through introductory and advanced programs, applied research and entrepreneurship.
Jason Brown, YMCA NL President and CEO, says collaboration is another way of meeting the YMCA’s mission in communities across the province, and to help people grow in spirit, mind, and body – something the YMCA has been doing in NL since 1854.
“YMCA NL is delighted to be working with CNA,” said Brown. “Our core values of caring, honesty, respect, responsibility, and diversity are aligned. We share with CNA a vision of vibrant communities across the province, and YMCA NL looks forward to many years of successfully implementing this MOU together.”
The MOU was signed at the YMCA NL facility on Ridge Road in St. John’s on Wednesday, April 6.
For more information about CNA programs, visit: www.cna.nl.ca
To learn about the YMCA NL, visit: www.ymcanl.com
College of the North Atlantic
Senior Business Consultant