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Monday, May 8, 1995

Checking in with employers

The Waterloo Advisory Council holds its spring meeting tonight (starting at 6) and all day tomorrow, giving UW officials a chance to report to employers on how the co-op programs are doing. WAC membership represents employers of students and alumni, and exists to bring advice to UW from Canadian industry, business and government -- mostly about co-op, but also about other aspects of education, research and administration. The emphasis of this week's meeting will be specifically on co-op; the keynote speaker is Jim Rush, a senior vice-president of the Bank of Montreal and executive director of its Institute for Learning.

So, how are the co-op programs doing? "The employment picture for spring term coop students at the beginning of the term is 82 per cent," says co-op director Bruce Lumsden, noting that that's "a substantial increase" from the 71 per cent figure reported at this time last year. "Indicator programs like engineering and architecture show a marked improvement," he says. "The increase is due in part to an improved Canadian economy.

"But there are still mixed signals. Major employers are announcing huge layoffs while manufacturing statistics are on the upswing. The impact of the federal government budget annoucment in February re the down-sizing of the government labour force is worrisome, particularly for an institution like Waterloo which supplies 800 to 1,000 coop students a year to federal agencies.

Cordinators will be focussing their efforts over the next few weeks to find employment opportunities for the remaining 500-plus students still seeking employment. The spring term is the most difficult for coop employment."

New way of recycling

"Big news! Yippee!" says Patti Cook, who can't hide the enthusiasm she feels for her job as UW's waste management coordinator. "The recycling effort on campus will receive a big boost from the Custodial Section on May 15," she reports.

What's happening: recycling depots with blue carts for cans, glass and newsprint are being set up at various spots inside UW buildings. Individuals can take their recyclable materials to the depots, which will be cleared out regularly by the custodians. Depots will include new locations on floors, as well as existing locations in cafeterias, lunchrooms and other such spots. Says Cook: "Locations not collected by the custodians will continue to be emptied by existing volunteers, but only as far as the nearest depot."

Look for more information in the next few days; the depots go into operation next Monday.

The risk of financial disaster

And specifically the risk of "derivatives", a hot form of investment that involves speculating on future stock prices -- that'll be the topic at a conference being held in Toronto today. "Derivatives: Beauty or the Beast?" is co-sponsored by KPMG Canada and UW's Centre for Advanced Studies in Finance.

Room for staff development

"Non-management professional" staff (which might include librarians, computer programmers and co-op coordinators) have a program of their own under the umbrella of the staff training and development committee at UW. The program is a blend of FrontLine, intended for managers, and the Working program that was introduced a couple of years ago for all staff. The "non-management professional" program involves five modules on "core interpersonal skills" such as feedback and "getting your ideas across". A new session starts shortly, with sessions May 16 and 26, June 2, 9, and 16, all morning. Space is available, says Marg Letter in the human resources department; anyone who might like to sign up can reach her at ext. 6645.

Of T-shirts and water

The T-shirts are offered at Graphics Express this week, as a Mothers' Day special. "Print a T-shirt with special border and photo for Mom for just $12.99 plus tax," suggests manager Colette Nevin. "All you need to provide is hte photograph. Also, photographs on 8 1/2 by 11 paper in colour (we will enlarge your photo to fit) for just 99 cents each."

And the water: no, it's not on the T-shirts, and it's also not in the pipes in the south and east quads of Village 2 all this week. Tanks are being inspected and valves replaced, the plant operations department says. Things are a little slow in the conference centre for the next few days, so nobody should be inconvenienced. The water will be back on by 4 p.m. Friday.

Where there's a Will . . .

there's a birthday: compliments of the occasion to Will Robertson in the earth sciences department and groundwater institute!

Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
(519) 888-4567 ext. 3004

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