What’s New at the Centre for Employment Innovation?

The latest news and developments at the CEI

Since our last update, there have been quite a number of developments at the Centre for Employment Innovation (CEI).

In staffing news, we’re sad to report that Phil Davison, Director of the StFX Extension Department (the CEI’s parent organization) has decided to pursue other opportunities and will be leaving us at the end of March.

Phil Davison, Director of StFX Extension Department, in a recent article on the New Opportunities for Work (NOW) Program.

In Phil’s almost ten years working with the StFX Extension Department, he has been instrumental in the success of multiple initiatives focused on creating a “full and abundant life for all” Atlantic Canadians. Phil’s leadership, thoughtful guidance, and good humor will certainly be missed by the entire CEI team and many others within the StFX community. In the interim, June Webber, Vice President of the Coady International Institute and the StFX Extension Department, will be stepping into Phil’s role to provide support to the department during this time of transition.

First Nations Ethics Review

Paula Romanow, our Manager of Applied Research, has gradually been returning to work following a short medical leave and has recently completed the First Nations ethics review proposal for the research portion of the New Opportunities for Work (NOW) Program. Paula is in the process of gathering feedback on the proposal from the NOW proponents who have First Nations participants, prior to submitting it to Cape Breton University for the Mi’kmaw Ethics Review process.

Student Research Work

Our student research interns are coming to the end of their winter term. Eric Marchand has been diligently working on a literature review focused on best practices in labour attachment for underrepresented populations. He has done an excellent job of finding, reviewing and summarizing the literature, and populating our MAXQDA database. We are currently investigating the best way to create a shareable database and look forward to having it on the CEI website soon. Eric has also accepted one of our summer intern positions and we look forward to his continued contributions.

Over the last couple of months, our intern Catherina “Cat” MacIntyre has been working on a body of literature that looks at labour attachment for women living in poverty. Cat recently left her role at the CEI and is in Scotland with other StFX Education students to complete their final in-class student teaching session. Cat has been with the CEI since July 2017 and we are very sorry to see her go. She leaves behind a very valuable contribution to our foundational work with the environmental scan of career services programming in the Nova Scotia Works centres, as well as her various literature reviews.

Case Studies

In partnership with Nova Scotia Works centres, we are in the process of developing three case studies which will look at innovative employment programs, policies and practices happening within the network. Through the many engagements that took place during our Environmental Scan, a number of compelling findings emerged that will be used to help determine our first series of case studies. In addition to sharing the remarkable work coming from the Nova Scotia Works centres, these studies will be used to help build educational tools and a database of best practices. A summary of our Environmental Scan findings will also be compiled and released in the spring of 2018.

Post-Graduate Prep

Our engagement team has been working collaboratively with other departments on campus to understand what resources are being used to prepare students for life after university. Heather Simmons, our Student Engagement Intern, is currently compiling a report of our results which will be shared with our network upon completion. The CEI has also begun working with others pan-provincially to understand how we can expand this work across Nova Scotia.

We also continue to build capacity and interest in the StFX Extension Society – a group focused on building the skills and knowledge of university youth, in an effort to best prepare them for life after graduation. We are currently supporting a student-led executive team to grow the society through collaborative and participatory-based governance practices.

Stakeholder Engagement

There have been many meetings over the past few months with various CEI stakeholders. We’re working to compile notes from these meetings, confirming they accurately reflect our conversations and then will be translating the knowledge to share with the larger network.

Canada Career Month 2018

The CEI has been working alongside the Nova Scotia Works – Career Connections Centre in Antigonish, the StFX Career Service Centre, and the StFX Innovation and Enterprise Centre to discuss opportunities for local collaboration. One of the main opportunities identified for 2018 is Canada Career Month.  We have begun preliminary conversations to discuss what may be possible locally but we are also interested in exploring what other plans exist across the province and how we may work together. If interested in collaborating and/or combining efforts on Canada Career Month plans, please email Jessica Popp (jpopp@stfx.ca).

Video Project

We are coming to the end of our procurement process for the Nova Scotia Works centre video project. Our plan is to begin shooting in April, with approximately two videos per month being produced over the course of a year. Each video will focus on a story connected to Nova Scotia Works and will be accompanied by a report that provides more details relating to the story’s learning outcomes. Our goal is to provide a wide representation of the innovations, various programs and services, struggles and triumphs happening across the province. We want to showcase the wonderful work taking place and capture the inevitable learnings that accompany each story.


Upon reviewing the outcomes and analytics from our first CEI newsletter, it has been decided to remove the Media Scan from this format going forward. Next week, we will once again be issuing our Media Scan as a separate email.

Finally, we’d like to know what you’re hoping to see in future editions of our newsletter! Are there specific topics, information, or guest contributors you would like included? Let us know by emailing: cei@stfx.ca