Constructive education

Ellis Don shows how a corporate university can offer employees a mix of well-branded, targeted learning and development opportunities
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/03/2010

Ellis Don’s university began about 10 years ago as a monthly evening session offered to workers. It was a social event for people to learn from each other, with guest speakers talking about the latest project or industry trends. At the time, there were few courses on construction management because it’s a very hands-on field, says Monica Darroch, a learning and development manager at Ellis Don in Mississauga, Ont.

“Our industry is fairly skinny when it comes to education opportunities,” she says.

But as the company grew to 1,000 employees, information usually handed down person to person was lost somewhat because of its size and geographic disbursement. As a result, those evening sessions became one small component of Ellis Don University (EDU), which now encompasses a range of courses and programs devoted to topics such as financial management, project management and planning and scheduling.