M&T Guelph Hosted Education Minister Showcasing Leading Business-Education Collaboration Initiative

Guelph - Last Friday the Guelph Chamber of Commerce hosted a tour of M&T Printing Group in Guelph for the Ontario Minister of Education Hon. Liz Sandals. The tour highlighted M&T’s innovative ‘M&T Graphics Factory’, a classroom inside the business designated solely as a learning space for the Wellington Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Graphic Design co-op students.

“What M&T has done here is accomplish an incredible feat of ingenuity,” remarked Kithio Mwanzia, President & CEO of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, after the tour. “The staff here – along with the staff of the WCDSB – have seamlessly integrated a collaboration that effectively teaches SHSM students seeming countless skills to prepare these students for professional careers in graphics design, printing, and beyond.”

Mwanzia continued: “These students learn to appreciate how to manage clients; how to meet deadlines; how to interact with management; how to receive constructive criticism; and so much more. And what’s especially fantastic about this specific business-education collaboration is that the students get to see their finished products implemented in the real world – as marketing campaigns; promotional materials; and more.”

“At M&T, we’re committed to community,” added M&T Printing President, Dean Froome. “The ‘Graphics Factory’ is an extension of this commitment. Working with our local school board and its students has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. And the fact that a number of the students trained at the ‘Graphics Factory’ have accumulated awards both at the Ontario Technological Skills Competition and National Skills Competition in graphic design is further proof that what we’re doing is meaningful.”

Since February 2014, SHSM students have spent regular class hours at the ‘Graphics Factory’, working collaboratively with WCDSB teachers, expert M&T staff, and local businesses and community organizations to complete graphics work at no cost for those who need it.

“The Guelph Chamber is proud to see such incredible and innovative collaboration,” concluded Mwanzia. “Being able to have Minister Sandals tour and see the M&T ‘Graphics Factory’ first hand not only demonstrates her commitment to identifying excellence locally, but underscores the importance of the creation of innovative business-education collaborations long-term.”

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