Access Student Talent Program

Four students sharing a desk and collaboratively working on a laptop.

Do you have work that needs to get done but you don’t have the staff or time to do it? Do you have a project that you need help with on a short term basis? Are you trying to build a strong talent pipeline? If so, then perhaps a post-secondary student may be able to help! Post-secondary students can be a great temporary talent resource for businesses; they can bring innovative ideas and valuable skills to your organization.

The Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce (GKWCC) Access Student Talent resources are here to help small businesses learn about working with post-secondary students and connect with our local educational partner schools: Conestoga College, University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University. Students are available for a variety of work-integrated learning opportunities including co-op work terms, capstone projects, field placements, in-class projects, apprenticeships, and others. To learn more about what work-integrated learning (WIL) is and how it can support your business, check out our resources below!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ways that my business can engage with a post-secondary student?

There are a number of different work-integrated learning opportunities available that connect businesses with students. Some of those opportunities include field placements, capstone projects, co-op work terms, in-class projects, practicums, apprenticeships, and more.

How can working with a student benefit my business?

Students can bring immense value to your organization by providing you with the opportunity to:

  • Add temporary resources to your organization that will enable you to be more productive
  • Access innovative ideas that students bring
  • Raise awareness of your organization and industry
  • Build a strong talent pipeline

How can my business connect with post-secondary students?

Visit our Contact a School Today! page to find contact information for representatives from our educational partners – Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo, and Wilfrid Laurier University. These representatives will be able to provide more information about the types of opportunities available and will help you connect with students.

Learn More

About the Program

Resource page for Businesses

Contact a School Today!

What businesses are Saying

Hear from businesses about their experience working with students!

Learn more about the Access Student Talent Program and hear from KW Habilitation, a not-for-profit organization, as they talked about the benefits to employers and students when working together through work-integrated learning and how students were able to support their organization.

What local organizations are saying

“From start to finish, working with the students was an exciting and valuable experience for our small business! The students took on the project with a high level of professionalism, and created marketing projects that were not only interesting but included realistic recommendations that our business could implement immediately. Not only did the outcome exceed my expectations, but the process also was not labour intensive for us as a business. I would highly recommend it to any small business that wants to add some creativity and fresh ideas to any facet of their business.”

Corrin Bleskie, Human Resources Consultant, H2R Business Solutions Inc.

“I was continuously impressed by the knowledge that the student brought to the table, and the dedication they displayed to resolving any issues that we encountered. The student displayed sharp analytic skills and was able to revamp our SEO which successfully increased traffic to our web site, social media platforms, and client contact rate. I would highly recommend working with this program as it is indeed an asset any company would be fortunate to work with.”

Pattie McLean, Owner, Today Tomorrow Ayr

“The students we’ve been connected to through the Access Student Talent Program helped us get new perspectives and ideas to move our initiatives forward. It is also an opportunity for us to begin building relationships with people who represent our future community leaders and prospective volunteers.”

Scott Verhoeve, Executive Director, Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region

“I wanted to share how pleased I was to work with students this year. I had the pleasure of working with two groups of students who brought their own knowledge and ideas to two unique challenges.

The group that assisted me with Habitat For Humanity ReStore had the challenge of adding an online e-commerce portal to our existing brick-and-mortar stores were. They were able to quickly identify the key issues we faced and creatively provided a number of solutions that we were able to incorporate as we launched our new online stores.

I also worked with a talented group that assisted me with pivoting my personal business selling sports equipment at tournaments and festivals into an online store. Their suggestions reflected the products and services I offer, embedded the unique features and benefits I bring to the marketplace, and helped me to creatively include both aspects into my new online store.

I would gladly participate in this project again and look forward to re-connecting with this class in the future.”

Tom Bileski, ReStore Procurement, Habitat For Humanity Waterloo Region and Founder, Lax Coach Locker

Our Educational Partners

   Conestoga College Logo University of Waterloo Logo  Wilfrid Laurier University Logo

Have a Question?

We can help! Fill out our contact form to be connected with a Chamber representative who can provide more information about accessing student talent and help you connect with the appropriate post-secondary contact to help you work with students.