Staples aims to become ‘education and business incubator’

Callie Hermanson
Lakeside Leader

The Chamber of Commerce welcomes new members Franklin Parts and Equipment Ltd. and the Public Business Accountant Society of Alberta.


Carrie Kanzig, with Staples, attended the September 24 Chamber meeting with some news from Staples.

Kanzig said last December staples was a publicly traded company and in mid-December and was acquired by a private equity called Sagamore Investments.

Kanzig said Staples is now fully Canadian and is separating entities with its counterparts. She said Staples now has the ability to move forward with innovative new projects.

“Retail is changing as you know from like Sears and Target. (If we don’t adapt to change we will) no longer exist. So we are trying to make some big change.”

Kanzig said she can’t speak about a lot of the changes, but the new direction Staples wants to go is to become the education and business incubator. She said this will help new businesses through stuff such as start-ups, printing and marketing, to get businesse’s names out there with consistent branding with tech services.

Small Business Week

Serena Green, with RBC, said on October 16 they are bringing in a speaker to talk about business owner planning. She said they are opening this up to the entire community. It is going to be a Lunch-and -Learn from 12 noon to 1:30 p.m.

Josh Friesen, Vice President for the Chamber of Commerce, said there is going to be a mixer for the chamber board members at Dog Island Brewing on October 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. He adds if anyone knows of anyone who might be interested in the chamber, feel free to bring them along.

Friesen said Community Futures is partnering with the Chamber to host Leadercast for Women at the Legacy Centre on November 1.

Joy McGregor, Councillor for the Town of Slave Lake and Board member for the High Prairie School Division, said that Northern Lakes College is holding a wellness workshop on October 20 with the Community Education Committee.

McGregor said it is open to both men and women and the cost will be $25.

There will be a guest speaker in the morning from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon, and break-out sessions from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information visit the Northern Lakes College website.

Downtown Halloween

Friesen said the Chamber is doing the Downtown Halloween project again this year.

Ali Mouallem, for the Chamber board, said last year was the first one and the chamber had a couple really good business partners in the community that helped roll it out.

Mouallem said he thought it would be a great idea, because he has four young kids who love trick-or-treating, and the day is pretty short between school an bedtime. He said the Chamber thought about doing an after school thing where kids can just walk from school with their friends.

“I think to go after- school and to be supporting the safeness of this as well, where you can go with your mom or dad and still take time to go around.”

How the program works is the Chamber had pumpkin posters businesses put on their windows, which means it is a business giving out candy.

High Prairie School Division (HPSD)

McGregor said there are 49 new teachers for the school division.

McGregor said buses are full and the division is looking for spare bus drivers. She said HPSD has new nutrition program. She said the board thinks that choosing things that are 100 per cent healthy most often is not sustainable, because places such as Falher struggle with only having a couple options of grocery stores and food businesses to help with the hot lunch program. She adds High Prairie also struggles with it.

“Just because Slave Lake is able to do it and keep meals under that $5 range for 100 per cent healthy does not always make that feasible elsewhere.”

McGregor said the trustees and board members are going to have a meeting to discuss what to do about the program.

Northern Lakes College (NLC)

Melane LeBlanc, with NLC, said the college high school program last year had 468 students. This year the program is up over a thousand.
LeBlanc said NLC is expecting to see a lot more development in the skills and trades area before high school graduation.

NLC has also done a lot of collaboration with Keyano College and is now working with them on their Early Learning childcare program.

NLC is working with the Athabasca University trying to get some more of their degree programs.

LeBlanc said NLC is proud of the numbers for the Nursing Program, which is completely full and wait-listed. LeBlanc said NLC is opening a brand new lab to help with the health care program out of Wabasca. She said another expansion that NLC has had done is a groundbreaking ceremony for the High Prairie campus.

They have demolished the site and they are now going to dig with a minister and start the bill.

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