Factors that influence Winnipeg employers to participate in post-secondary co-operative education programs in technical communication

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Campbell, Alexa
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Co-op programs bridge the gap between the academic and work worlds and provide students with practical experience in their chosen fields while they earn money between academic school terms. The Technical Communication Diploma program at Red River College in Winnipeg, Manitoba, has incorporated a co-operative education term. Instructors at the College charged with placing co-op students each year are challenged in finding such placements, and they receive little guidance from research. In this study, I interviewed 21 employers in Winnipeg who hired co-op students from the Technical Communication Diploma program at Red River College from 2003–2005, to determine their perspectives on participation in co-op programs. Important factors influencing Winnipeg employers were the productivity of students and their specialized skill sets. The major deterrent to re-hiring students was lack of funding. A Model of Employers’ Motivation to Participate in Co-op Programs is proposed.
co-op education, technical communication