A thriving partnership between Chevron Canada and Stella’s Circle that provides life-changing services and programs to disadvantaged adults in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, was recognized at the 12th International Education Business Partnership Conference in Brussels, Belgium, Sept. 12-14.
Chevron Canada’s Tim Murphy (in the back) accepts the Global Best Award for the company’s partnership with Stella’s Circle in St. John’s. From left to right: Diana MacKay of the Conference Board of Canada, Deborah Glassman and Gail Thornhill of Stella’s Circle, Ola Risnes of the International Partnership Network and NASA aerospace scientist Amber Gell, the conference's keynote speaker.
At the conference, which was attended by over 100 delegates from 14 countries, Tim Murphy of Chevron Canada and representatives of Stella’s Circle accepted the Global Best Award in the category Partnerships Which Build Learning Communities, North America Region.
A Perfect Match
At Chevron Canada, we seek community partners whose goals and objectives are consistent with our own: integrity, trust, diversity, ingenuity, partnership, protecting people and the environment and high performance. In Stella’s Circle, the pre-eminent social services, non-profit organization in Newfoundland and Labrador, we found a perfect match.
For 35 years, this award-winning organization has provided services to adults who have experienced mental health issues, lack of education, unemployment, homelessness and poverty. They offer a range of services, including residential counselling, housing and skill development strategies that lead to employment. In short, Stella’s Circle helps people find the tools they need to change their lives for the better.
“Our partnership with Stella’s Circle has enabled the organization to offer programs and services that are transformational to their participants,” said Jeff Lehrmann, president, Chevron Canada. “This award recognizes that the impact on people’s lives has been extraordinary, and that is something we can all take great pride in here at Chevron Canada.”
The Global Best Award recognizes the focus of our partnership with Stella’s Circle over the past three years on CanDo Enterprises. This program provides training and paid skill development opportunities for people with a variety of complex barriers to employment. In that timeframe, more than 12,000-person hours of paid employment have been created.
“Chevron’s support of Stella’s Circle has really been extraordinary – their investment in our work has truly enabled us to create cutting-edge programs that are helping adults who might never become employed find their way into the workforce,” said Gail Thornhill, executive director (acting) of Stella’s Circle.
For CanDo participants, the impact of the partnership has been significant: skill development and training that has led to improved standards of living, improved mental health, fewer hospital days, as well as greatly enhanced self-esteem and overall feelings of self-worth.
Participants in the program report feeling “normal – like other working people” and are proud of their capacity to generate some income for themselves. The partnership has provided tangible proof that with the right blend of supports, even those who were once deemed “unemployable,” can make enduring and successful links to the workforce.
“CanDo receives no other funding, so Chevron’s support of this program to assist adults with multiple barriers access paid employment has been life changing for them,” Thornhill added.
Supported by the Conference Board of Canada and the International Education Business Partnership Network, the Global Best Awards celebrate outstanding and effective business, education and community organization partnerships that have a significant impact on their communities.
Since our partnership began in 2005, Chevron Canada has contributed close to $1 million to enable Stella’s Circle to provide services and programs to some of our community’s most disadvantaged citizens. In June 2014, Chevron Canada re-committed to the partnership for 2014-2016.