Ballad Group

A new office and a new program in Grande Prairie!

Ballad has opened a new office in Grande Prairie and launched another new program: The Fundamentals of Supply Chain Management! “It has been a really exciting last few weeks. I’m looking forward to building relationships and getting to know the students in the Grande Prairie area. And we have industry partners in central Alberta that I’m excited to strengthen and connect with the GP students.” Said Sydney Schneider, Training and Operations Manager at Ballad. Ballad has been busy during the last few weeks setting up the training centre, onboarding our new Grande Prairie team members, and launching the program. The new 20-week program is designed to prepare students for career opportunities such as Purchasing Agents and Officers, Retail and Wholesale Buying, Purchasing and Inventory Control Workers, Shippers and Receivers, and Material Handlers. The first cohort was 100% subscribed with 16 students. “The program is meant for students that are seeking a career change. The curriculum builds on their skills from previous jobs and industries and upskills them for a new industry. ” Said Schneider. This is the first time Ballad has delivered this program, and it’s already off to a great start. “I am really enjoying the content and I also really like the Instructor.  It is lovely to have people from all different backgrounds and being able to relate the information we are learning into our previous jobs.” Said a program participant. “Instruction has also been great, knowledgeable, and good back and forth.. All around 5/5.  It’s unheard of that a first-time course runs so smoothly.” Said another program participant. The classroom portion of the program provides the fundamental supply chain education through a combination of Ballad’s curriculum and the Certification in Logistics and Transportation and Distribution course delivered through the Association of Supply Chain Management (ASCM). In addition, students will complete employment readiness certifications and employment preparation skills workshops to build critical thinking, time management, and customer relations skills. Participants will transition from the classroom to be matched with one of Ballad’s industry partners, completing an eight-week work placement to ensure they are job-market ready. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of supply chain workers. The supply chain sector supports several industries, including manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail, construction, oil and gas, and public works. Upon completion of the program, students will be able to occupy similar roles across these areas, providing them with a high degree of resiliency against future economic shifts. “I’d really like to deliver this program in more regions and continue to support unemployed Albertans across the province. The supply chain industry is going through some major changes, and we want to be apart of that.” Said Schneider. How to Get Involved: Employers: Ballad is currently building relationships with employment partners across central Alberta. If you’re interested in providing a work placement opportunity for students please get in touch. Interested Students: Visit the Fundamentals of Supply Chain page on the Ballad website to register and learn more.

An Empowering Start to the Foundations in Hospitality Training Program for Indigenous Youth!

The Ballad team is excited to announce the launch of the Foundations in Hospitality program for Indigenous youth! This enriching program is designed to prepare students (between the ages of 15 and 30) for a career in hospitality while building their employment readiness skills, industry relationships, and cultural connection. With the recent impacts of COVID-19, the program launch has been well timed. “The hospitality industry has been hit hard by COVID-19 and as it rebounds it’s going to be a competitive market for job seekers. I’m excited that Ballad can support individuals to get back to work, and especially youth. This training program will provide participants with an advantage.” Said Sydney Schneider, Manager of Training and Operations at Ballad Group. This is the first program that Ballad has offered solely for Indigenous youth. As such, the program team has taken an intentional approach to integrating Indigenous cultural protocols, guest speakers, content, and job placements with Indigenous-owned businesses. In addition, the program team is working closely with Indigenous Educator, Dr. Patricia Makokis, to ensure they integrate Indigenous ways of learning throughout the training. “The first day was empowering. It was a real honor to have knowledge keepers Elder Eugene Makokis, Dr. Patricia Makokis and Lloyd Cardinal lead us through a grounding ceremony and talking circle. They set the foundation for the students and for the Ballad program team.” Said Schneider. Students echoed this sentiment and were grateful for the opportunity to learn about traditional teachings from Elders on the opening day. “I got a strong sense of pride as well as belonging right at the start. The first day was definitely the beginning of a brighter and happier life for me individually and I will cherish it for the rest of my life.” Said one student. Ballad will be delivering the program six times over the next three years. The program cohorts are small, with six to seven students enrolling in the 11-week program. This size creates an intimate learning environment while abiding by the Government of Alberta COVID-19 protocols for academic institutions. As part of that protocol, students were provided with masks made by Goodfish Lake First Nation Business Corporation on their first day. The program includes a combination of occupational skills training, employment readiness courses, and employment preparation skills. Throughout the in-class component guest speakers, including Indigenous hospitality business owners and leaders, will share their insight into the industry and provide students with an opportunity to build relationships. “It’s important that we include Indigenous role models and hands-on learning experiences for the students. We’re actively building strong partnerships with Indigenous-owned hotels and businesses such as the River Cree Resort and Casino at Enoch Cree Nation, and Indigenous Tourism Alberta.” Said Schneider. After the program students will be qualified to pursue a variety of front and back-of-house career opportunities such as front desk associate, concierge, hotel maintenance, or banquet server. But for many, the training program offers more than that. Students will walk away with new friends, industry connections, and the skills to achieve their career aspirations in hospitality. “It will change my life when we are finished. I am very honored to be apart of (this) great experience. Truly grateful.” Said one student when describing their most memorable experience of the opening day. How to Get Involved: Employers: Ballad is currently building relationships with Indigenous and non-Indigenous employment partners across central Alberta. If you’re interested in providing a work placement opportunity for the students please get in touch. Interested Youth: Visit the Foundations in Hospitality Training Program page on the Ballad website to register and learn more.